Archive for July, 2013

Human Inability

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

οὐδεὶς δύναται ἐλθεῖν πρός με ἐὰν μὴ ὁ πατὴρ ὁ πέμψας με ἑλκύσῃ αὐτόν, κἀγὼ ἀναστήσω αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ. (John 6:44 NA28)

No one is able to come to me unless the Father who sent me should draw him, and I will raise him up in the last day. (John 6:44 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

In the last several posts we have been looking at the nature of the unregenerate person prior to salvation and what has to take place in order for that person to respond to the Gospel. To be honest, I was not really prepared for some of the pushback I received on this being that the arguments were so “old” and already dealt with here.  Instead of addressing those arguments myself in this post, I will, instead, post a sermon by C.H. Spurgeon titled “Human Inability” preached March 7…

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Begin with Prayer

Luther has been quoted previously on the diligent hard work required to gain understanding of the Scripture. He did not, however, believe that hard work was the key necessity. Without the Spirit of God, no one, however intelligent or studious, can expect to understand spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14). Therefore, it behooves us to begin our studies in prayer (James 1:5).


  It is absolutely certain that one cannot enter into the [meaning of] Scripture by study or innate intelligence. Therefore your first task is to begin with prayer. You must ask that the Lord in His great mercy grant you a true understanding of His words, should it please Him to accomplish anything through you for His glory and not for your glory or that of any other man. For there is no one who can teach the divine words except He who is their Author, as He says: “They shall all be taught of God” (John 6:45). You must therefore completely despair of your own diligence and intelligence and rely solely on the infusion of the Spirit. Believe me, for I have had experience in this matter.

—Martin Luther, cited in The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther(Reformation Trust, 2013), 46.


The Thirsty Theologian: Begin with Prayer.

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Reformed Baptist Fellowship

Matthew 19:4-6

… Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh?  Wherefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Matt 19:4-6

If the Supreme court voted 5-4 to overturn the law of gravity, it would make not a bit of difference, the law of gravity would just keep on functioning like it ever did. Human decisions never trump physical laws, nor are they able to change them – and to think they could, would only display their stupidity and arrogance.

The same thing is true with God’s Moral Law. There are Moral Laws that are common to humanity and society that have always been true and…

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Reformed Baptist Fellowship

John Flavel

Learn hence the usefulness of the law to bring souls to Jesus Christ. It is utterly useless, as a covenant, to justify us; but exceeding useful to convince and humble us; it cannot relieve nor ease us, but it can and doth awaken and rouse us. It is a fair glass to shew us the face of sin, and till we have seen that we cannot see the face of Jesus Christ.

The law, like the fiery serpent smites, stings, and torments the conscience; this drives us to the Lord Jesus, lifted up in the gospel, like the brazen serpent in the wilderness, to heal us. The use of the law is to make us feel our sickness; this makes us look out for a Physician: “I was alive once, without the law, (saith Paul) but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died,” Rom…

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The Old Guys

4. But man turns ungratefully against God
Here, however, the foul ungratefulness of men is disclosed. They have within themselves a workshop graced with God’s unnumbered works and, at the same time, a storehouse overflowing with inestimable riches. They ought, then, to break forth into praises of him but are actually puffed up and swollen with all the more pride. They feel in many wonderful ways that God works in them; they are also taught, by the very use of these things, what a great variety of gifts they possess from his liberality. They are compelled to know—whether they will or not—that these are the signs of divinity; yet they conceal them within. Indeed, there is no need to go outside themselves, provided they do not, by claiming for themselves what has been given them from heaven, bury in the earth that which enlightens their minds to see God clearly.

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Fatal Assumption

A Particular Baptist Blog

(1899 -1981)This idea that because people are members of the church and attend regularly that they must be Christian is one of the most fatal assumptions, and I suggest that it mainly accounts for the state of the Church today.  So we must be very careful at this point.

D. Martyn-Lloyd Jones (1899 -1981)

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A Particular Baptist Blog

J. C. Ryle (1816 - 1900)What is the best safeguard against false doctrine?
The Bible: the Bible regularly read, regularly prayed over, regularly studied.

J. C. Ryle  (1816 – 1900)

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A Particular Baptist Blog

John Owen (1616-1683)Set faith at work on Christ for the killing of your sin. His blood is the great sovereign remedy for sin-sick souls. Live in this, and you will die a con­queror; yea, you will, through the good providence of God, live to see your lust dead at your feet.

John Owen (1616-1683)

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What is Hyper-Calvinism?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

11 “Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’ (Ezekiel 33:11 NASB)

At a former church in Oklahoma in 1997 I donated a great deal of my free time to rewire the office areas for network access, configured the networking gear they had and helped them get their peer-to-peer network operational. Not long after that, the church staff had the pastor’s secretary call me to come up to the church after work, which I did. When I got there, they presented me with a gift in gratitude. It was a John MacArthur Study Bible, which had just been released on the market. I still have it. One Sunday…

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Shade of the Moriah Tree

Fading Fast

“…we refuse to practise cunning or to tamper with God’s Word, but by open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” – 2 Corinthians 4:2.

“For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God Who tests our hearts.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:3.

ONE OF THE facts – although not the reason – our great nations have stood through great crisis is attributed to heroic patriotism and nationalism; ultimately, God is the reason as to why nations are preserved and prosperous. While patriotic convictions have their strength and place within our society and culture, they do not advance the gospel of Jesus Christ as many are mistaken to believe; more…

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A Particular Baptist Blog

A. W. Pink (1886-1952)Is a choir needed to ‘lead’ worship? What choir was needed to aid the Savior and His apostles as they sung that hymn in the upper room, ere going forth into the Garden? (Matthew 26:30). What choir was needed to assist the apostles, as with bleeding backs they sang praises to God in the Philippian dungeon? Singing to be acceptable to God must come from the heart. And to whom do the choirs sing — to God, or to the people?

The attractiveness of singing has been substituted for “the foolishness of preaching.” The place which music now holds in many of our public services is a solemn “sign of the times” to those who have eyes to see. But is music wrong? Has not God Himself bestowed the gift? Surely, but what we are now complaining about is church-singing that is professional and spectacular, that which is of the…

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Still They Speak

“…when God works He always works at both ends of the line. If Jacob sends his sons down into Egypt seeking food in time of famine, Joseph is moved to give it unto them. If Israel’s spies enter Jericho, there is a Rahab raised up to shelter them. If Mordecai is begging the Lord to come to the deliverance of his people, King Ahasuerus is rendered sleepless, made to search the state records and befriend Mordecai and his fellows. If the Ethiopian eunich is desirous of an understanding of God’s Word, Philip is sent to expound it to him. If Cornelius is praying for an opening up of the Gospel, Peter is charged to preach it to him. Elijah had received no intimation as to where this widow resided, but Divine providence timed her steps so that she encountered him a the entrance of the city. What encouragements to faith…

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The Old Guys

The Scriptures teach, (1.) That the glory of God is the end to which the promotion of holiness, and the production of happiness, and all other ends are subordinate. (2.) That, therefore, the self-manifestation of God, the revelation of his infinite perfection, being the highest conceivable, or possible good, is the ultimate end of all his works in creation, providence, and redemption. (3.) As sentient creatures are necessary for the manifestation of God’s benevolence, so there could be no manifestation of his mercy without misery, or of his grace and justice, if there were no sin. As the heavens declare the glory of God, so He has devised the plan of redemption, “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God.” (Eph. iii. 10.) The knowledge of God is eternal life. It is for creatures…

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Shade of the Moriah Tree

smoldering wick
“The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian for seven years. And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel and because of Midian, the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number – both they and their camels could not be counted – so that they laid waste the land as they came in. And Israel…

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God Speaking

Martin Luther believed that preachers, when faithfully expounding the Word of God, were no less than the voice of God.

To this point, Luther emphatically stated “For God has said, ‘When the Word of Christ is preached, I am in your mouth, and I go with the Word through your ears into your heart.’ Therefore, we have a sure sign and sure knowledge that when the gospel is proclaimed, God is present there.” In other words, Jesus Christ is powerfully present in the proclamation of the Scriptures.

Consequently, Luther resisted any supposed private revelations to men. Dreams and visions, he asserted, must not be preached: “Whenever you hear anyone boast that he has something by inspiration of the Holy Spirit and it has no basis in God’s Word, no matter what it may be, tell him that this is the work of the devil.” He added, “Whatever does not have its origin in the Scriptures is surely from the devil himself.” Luther believed that only the Bible, not the mystical intuitions of men, is to be preached.

Luther’s theology of preaching can be summarized by his assertion that preaching is God’s own speech to people. For Luther, preaching is Deus loquens—“God speaking.” The greatness of preaching, he maintained, lies in the fact that God Himself is active insofar as the preacher remains obedient to the Word and seeks nothing but for the people to hear the Word of God.

—Steven J. Lawson, The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther(Reformation Trust, 2013), 30–31.

Luther’s high view of preaching is virtually unknown today. The reason for that may be, in part, that so little of today’s preaching deserves such honor. I think, however, the main reason preaching is so lightly esteemed is that the Word of God is lightly esteemed—which brings us back to the preacher. Luther could call preaching “God speaking” because he had committed himself to faithfully expounding the Word, and nothing but. Consequently, authority of God emanated from his pulpit.

Posted 2013·07·23 by David Kjos 

The Thirsty Theologian: God Speaking.

Shade of the Moriah Tree


TIMES ARE EMBARKING upon us where Christians are going to prove false or genuine in their profession. The depraved policies of the present American administration are no longer confined to the pages of our novels; it is becoming a reality stranger than fiction. The immoral laws that will soon be enforced upon everyone in society will be an acid test of every confessing Christian; will they compromise or remain composed in their loyalty to Christ?

Below is the current scenario ready to be implemented throughout the federal department and we can surely expect it to infiltrate all fields of employment in the near future:

“The Obama administration is apparently requiring federal workers to not only tolerate homosexuality, but to “publicly embrace and affirm” it, according to the religious liberty law firm Liberty Counsel, Charisma News reports. Last week, a whistleblower from the Department of Justice sent Liberty Counsel a copy…

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Fókuszban az Ige / The Word in Focus

Jeremiah Steepek pásztor beöltözött hajléktalannak, és így ment el abba a 10 000 fős gyülekezetbe, amelyben őt akkor délelőtt mint vezető pásztort akarták bemutatni. Fél órán át csak körbejárkált a gyülekezetben, amelynek tehát ő volt a leendő pásztora, miközben a helyiség elkezdett megtelni emberekkel… Ám a gyülekező emberek közül – akik mintegy 7000 és 10 000 fő közötti létszámúak lehettek – csak hárman köszöntötték őt. Megpróbált egy kis aprót kérni az emberektől, mondván, hogy kenyérre kéri… ám SENKI sem adott neki. Aztán bement az istentiszteleti helyre, és leült a gyülekezet első sorában, de az ajtónálló szolgálatban lévők megkérték, hogy legyen szíves hátra menni, a hátsó sorokba. Ő közben továbbra is köszöntötte az embereket, de csak bámuló tekinteteket és csúnya pillantásokat kapott viszonzásul – az emberek csak lenézték és kritizálták őt. 

Ahogyan ott ült a gyülekezet hátsó sorában, hallgatta a gyülekezeti hirdetéseket és tudnivalókat. Amikor ez a rész véget ért, a presbiterek előrementek…

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The Old Guys

Every circumstance connected with the life of Christ is deeply interesting to the Christian mind. Wherever we behold our Saviour, he is well worthy of our notice.

“His cross, his manger, and his crown,
Are big with glories yet unknown.”

~Charles Spurgeon~

Spurgeon’s Sermons (Spokane, Washington; Olive Tree Bible Software; 2010) eBook. Vol. 1, Sermon No. 18; Titled: The Tomb of Jesus; Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 8th, 1855.

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Dr. Larry E. Dixon

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