Archive for February, 2013

Samuel at Gilgal

Augustus M. TopladyElection must be taken into account, or else we believe that God saves no one, or that those he saves are randomly selected like a lottery winner without design or purpose. God’s goodness and mercy forbids the first; while His wisdom and providential care excludes the latter. According to Augustus Montague Toplady:

Our modern inverters of Christianity, the Arminians, by endeavoring to found election upon human qualifications, resemble an insane architect who, in attempting to raise an edifice, should make tiles and laths the foundation, and reserve his bricks and stones for the roof. … [I]f sanctification be God’s gift, men’s goodness could not possibly be a motive to their election: unless we can digest this enormous absurdity, viz. that God’s gifts may be conditional and meritorious one of another. Do you imagine that God could foresee any holiness in men which himself did not decree to give…

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The Old Guys

There is within the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, an awareness of divinity. This we take to be beyond controversy. To prevent anyone from taking refuge in the pretense of ignorance, God himself has implanted in all men a certain understanding of his divine majesty. Ever renewing its memory, he repeatedly sheds fresh drops. Since, therefore, men one and all perceive that there is a God and that he is their Maker, they are condemned by their own testimony because they have failed to honor him and to consecrate their lives to his will. If ignorance of God is to be looked for anywhere, surely one is most likely to find an example of it among the more backward folk and those more remote from civilization. Yet there is, as the eminent pagan says, no nation so barbarous, no people so savage, that they have not a deep-seated…

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The Old Guys

[16] But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. [17] For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. – Galatians 5:16-17 ESV

Look how bold the apostle is–he denies free will outright! We cannot do what we want, however hard we try…. Even the grace of God has not made the will perfectly free…. In this life, spirit and flesh battle it out, neither one being able to eliminate the other, although the spirit does manage to tame the flesh against its will and subject it to itself. No one can claim to have a clean heart or to be cleansed from filth, for whatever my flesh does, I do…. In every work…

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Samuel at Gilgal

Charles H. SpurgeonIf you think God owes you anything, it is time to rethink what you are calling Christianity. Pardon, reconciliation, and salvation are not part of a divine paycheck for benefits earned. Charles H. Spurgeon explains:

When we ask for pardon, reconciliation and salvation we must remember to whom we speak, and who we are who ask the favor. Some appear to deal with God as if he were bound to give them salvation; as if salvation indeed were the inevitable result of a round of performances, or the deserved reward of a certain amount of virtue. They refuse to see that salvation is a pure gift of God, not of works, not the result of merit, but of free favor only; not of man, neither by man, but of the Lord alone. Though the Lord has placed it on record in his Word, in the plainest language, that “it is…

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agnus dei - english + romanian blog

I read a good article at that gives 10 warning signs that a person is glorifying themselves instead of God. Paul Paul Tripp serves as teaching pastor at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia and professor of Pastoral Life and Care at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas. Paul also is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to “connecting the transforming power of Jesus to everyday life,” as well as Executive Director of the Center for Pastoral Life in Fort Worth, Texas. (source

In the article, it gives 10 signs:

Self-glory will cause you to:

  1. Parade in public what should be kept in private. The Pharisees live for us as a primary example. Because they saw their lives as glorious, they were quick to parade that glory before watching eyes.The more you think you’ve arrived and the less you see yourself as daily needing rescuing grace, the…

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Samuel at Gilgal

Augustus TopladyMan is not equal or superior to God that he may confound God’s decree of election. Silly ideas, which make God’s Will dependent totally upon the will of man, make God no God at all. Augustus Montague Toplady writes:

Nothing can be more contrary to sound doctrine, and even to sound reason, than this. It proceeds on a supposition that man is beforehand with God in the business of salvation; and that the resolutions of God’s will are absolutely dependent on the will of his creatures: that he has, in short, created a set of sovereign beings, from whom he receives law; and that his own purpose and conduct are shaped and regulated according to the prior self-determinations of independent man. What is this but atheism in a mask? For where is the difference between the denial of a first cause and the assignation of a false one?

Quite opposite…

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The human will is so divinely helped in the pursuit of righteousness, that he [the believer] receives the Holy Spirit, by whom there is formed in his mind a delight in, and a love of, that supreme and unchangeable good, which is God. By this gift to him of the down payment, as it were, of the free gift, he [the believer] conceives a burning desire to cleave to his Maker. A mans free will, indeed, does not help at all except to sin, if he does not know the way of truth. And even after he begins to know his duty and proper aim, unless he also takes delight in and feels a love for it, he neither does his duty, nor sets about it, nor lives rightly. Now, in order that such a course may engage our affections, Gods love is shed abroad in our hearts, not through the free will which arises from ourselves, but through the Holy Spirit, who is given to us [Rom 5: 5].


Augustine – Sanctification, Free Will, and the Holy Spirit.

“Rejected silver” (Jeremiah 6:30)

“Nothing but leaves” (Mark 11:13)

“Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” 
(1 John 3:18).

“You have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1)

If we profess to have any religion at all, let us be careful that it is 
authentic. I say it emphatically, and I repeat the saying: Let us be 
careful that our religion is authentic.

What do I mean when I use the word “authentic.” I mean that which is 
genuine, and sincere, and honest, and thorough. I mean that which is not 
inferior, and hollow, and formal, and false, and counterfeit, and sham, 
and nominal. “Authentic” religion is not mere show, and pretense, and 
skin-deep feeling, and temporary profession, and works only on the 
outside. It is something inward, solid, substantial, intrinsic, living, 
lasting. We know the difference between counterfeit and authentic 
money–between solid gold and tinsel–between plated metal and 
silver–between authentic stone and plaster imitation. Let us think of 
these things as we consider the subject of this paper. What is the 
character of our religion? Is it authentic? It may be weak, and feeble, 
and mingled with many defects. That is not the point before us today. 
Is our religion authentic? Is it true?

Read more


   Following his attainment of assurance of salvation, Ebenezer Erskine (1680–1754) wrote in his diary:


Lord, if I have done iniquity, I am resolved through thy grace to do so no more. I flee for shelter to the blood of Jesus and his everlasting righteousness; for this is pleasing unto thee. I offer myself up, soul and body, unto God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I offer myself unto Christ the Lord, as an object proper for all his offices to be exercised upon. I choose him as my prophet for instruction, illumination, and direction, I embrace him as my great priest, to be washed and justified by his blood an righteousness. I embrace him as my king to reign and rule within me. I take a whole Christ with all his laws, and all him; I will quit with all I have in the world for his cause and truth.

Meet the Puritans (Reformation Heritage Books, 2006), 493.

Barking at Thunder

Barking at Thunderby C. H. Spurgeon
From the August 1883 Sword and Trowel


THE first time our young dog heard the thunder it startled him. He leaped up, gazed around in anger, and then began to bark at the disturber of his peace. When the next crash came he grew furious, and flew round the room, seeking to tear in pieces the intruder who dared thus to defy him. It was an odd scene. The yelping of a dog pitted against the artillery of heaven! Poor foolish creature, to think that his bark could silence the thunder-clap, or intimidate the tempest! What was he like? His imitators are not far to seek. Among us at this particular juncture there are men of an exceedingly doggish breed who go about howling at their Maker. They endeavor to bark the Almighty out of existence, to silence the voice of his gospel, and to let him know that their rest is not to be disturbed by his warnings. We need not particularize; the creatures are often heard, and are very fond of public note, even when it takes an unfriendly form. Let them alone. They present a pitiful spectacle. We could smile at them if we did not feel much more compelled to weep. The elements of a tragedy are wrapt up in this comedy. To-day they defy their Maker, but to-morrow they may be crushed beneath his righteous indignation. At any rate, the idea of fearing them must never occur to us; their loudest noise is vocalized folly; their malice is impotent, their fury is mere fume. “He that sitteth in the heavens doth laugh: the Lord doth have them in derision.”—C. H. S.

HEN we were in Venice we purchased a few curiosities, and finding them burdensome, we thought of sending them home by one of the English vessels lying in the Canal. We went out in a gondola with our box, and having asked for the captain of one of the vessels, we put to him the question, “Will you take a box for us to London, and what is the charge?” His reply was very ready, “I can’t say till I know what’s in it, for I don’t want to get into trouble.” A very common sense answer indeed; we admired its caution and honesty.
    What a pity that men do not exercise as much care in spiritual matters, as to what they will receive or reject. Dear reader, in these times there are thousands of bad books published, and herds of bad teachers sent forth to deceive the unwary; you must be on your guard, lest you be led into error. Take nothing for granted, enquire into things for yourself, and try every new doctrine, and professedly old doctrine too, by the Word of God. You may take contraband goods on board before you are aware of it; keep both eyes open, watch and examine, and when a thing is pressed upon you, find out what’s in it. Do not believe all a man says because he is a clergyman, or eloquent, or learned, or even because he is kind and generous. Bring all to the bar of Holy Scripture, and if they cannot stand the test, receive them not, whatever their bold pretences.
    But reader, is your own present religion good for anything? Do you know what’s in it, and what it is made of? May it not be mischievous and false? Search thyself, and do not take a hope into thy soul till thou knowest what it is made of. The devil and his allies will try to trick you into carrying their wares, but be warned in time, and reject their vile devices. The finished work of Jesus received by faith, is “a good hope through grace,” and there is no other. Hast thou it? or art thou foolishly looking to another? The Lord lead you away from all else to Jesus. Whatever may be the ground of trust which men may offer you, take care to KNOW WHAT’S IN IT before you accept it.

   by  C. H. Spurgeon

Heresy & Concession
by Dr. Benjamin B. Warfield

In Dr. G. P. Fisher’s recently issued History of Christian Doctrine there is a very suggestive passage in which he tells us how heresies usually originate, and gives us an insight into their nature. He says:

When Christianity is brought into contact with modes of thought and tenets originating elsewhere, either of two effects may follow. It may assimilate them, discarding whatever is at variance with the gospel, or the tables may be turned and the foreign elements may prevail. In the latter case there ensues a perversion of Christianity, an amalgamation with it of ideas discordant with its nature. The product then is a heresy. But to fill out the conception, it seems necessary that error should be aggressive and should give rise to an effort to build up a party, and thus to divide the Church. In the Apostles’ use of the term, “heresy” contains a factious element.   ( read more , great article ) 

A Puritans Mind » Heresy & Concession – by Dr. Benjamin B. Warfield.

 Psalm 24:1 ” THE earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. “

“The earth is the Lord’s.” As David, in his youthful days, was tending his flocks on Bethlehem’s fertile plains, the spirit of the Lord descended upon him, and his senses were opened, and his understanding enlightened, so that he could understand the songs of the night. The heavens proclaimed the glory of God, and glittering stars formed the general chorus, their harmonious melody resounded upon earth, and the sweet fulness of their voices vibrated to it utmost bounds.
    Light is the countenance of the Eternal,” sung the setting sun: “I am the hem of his garment,” responded the soft and rosy twilight. The clouds gathered themselves together and said, “We are his nocturnal tent.” And the waters in the clouds, and the hollow voices of the thunders, joined in the lofty chorus, “The voice of the Eternal is upon the waters, the God of glory thundereth in the heavens, the Lord is upon many waters.”
    “He flieth upon my wings,” whispered the winds, and the gentle air added, “I am the breath of God, the aspirations of his benign presence.” “We hear the songs of praise,” said the parched earth; “all around is praise; I alone am sad and silent.” Then the falling dew replied, “I will nourish thee, so that thou shalt be refreshed and rejoice, and thy infants shall bloom like the young rose.” “Joyfully we bloom,” sang the refreshed meads; the full ears of corn waved as they sang, “We are the blessing of God, the hosts of God against famine.”
    “We bless thee from above,” said the gentle moon; “We, too, bless thee,” responded the stars; and the lightsome grasshopper chirped, “Me, too, he blesses in the pearly dew-drop.” “He quenched my thirst,” said the roe; “And refreshed me,” continued the stag; “And grants us our food,” said the beasts of the forest; “And clothes my lambs,” gratefully added the sheep.
    “He heard me,” croaked the raven, “when I was forsaken and alone;” “He heard me,” said the wild goat of the rocks, “when my time came, and I brought forth.” And the turtle-dove cooed, and the swallow and other birds joined the song, “We have found our nests, our houses, we dwell upon the altar of the Lord, and sleep under the shadow of his wing in tranquillity and peace.” “And peace,” replied the night, and echo prolonged the sound, when chanticleer awoke the dawn, and crowed with joy, “Open the portals, set wide the gates of the world! The King of glory approaches. Awake! Arise, ye sons of men, give praises and thanks unto the Lord, for the King of glory approaches.”
    The sun arose, and David awoke from his melodious rapture. But as long as he lived the strains of creation’s harmony remained in his soul, and daily he recalled them from the strings of his harp. From the “Legend of the Songs of the Night,” in the Talmud, quoted in “Biblical Antiquities.” By F. A. Cox, D.D., LL.D., 1852.

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

If God has called you to be truly like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. He will put on you such demands of obedience that you will not be allowed to follow other Christians. In many ways, He seems to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.

Others who seem to be very religious and useful may push themselves, pull wires, and scheme to carry out their plans, but you cannot. If you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

Others can brag about themselves, their work, their successes, their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing. If you begin to do so, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others will be allowed to succeed in making great sums of money, or having a legacy left to them, or in having luxuries, but God may supply you only on a day-to-day basis, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, a helpless dependence on Him and His unseen treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and put forward while keeping you hidden in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade.

God may let others be great, but keep you small. He will let others do a work for Him and get the credit, but He will make you work and toil without knowing how much you are doing. Then, to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work which you have done; this to teach you the message of the Cross, humility, and something of the value of being cloaked with His nature.

The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch on you, and with a jealous love rebuke you for careless words and feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over.

So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and that He may not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you.

God will take you at your word. If you absolutely sell yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and let other people say and do many things that you cannot. Settle it forever; you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue or chaining your hand or closing your eyes in ways which others are not dealt with. However, know this great secret of the Kingdom: When you are so completely possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven, the high calling of God.

Dr. Larry E. Dixon

Author, speaker, professor, theologian

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Samuel at Gilgal

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