Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Ancient of Days

 Meditate, dear friends, upon the whole range of God’s works in creation and providence. There was a period when God dwelt alone and creatures were not. In that time before all time, when there was no day but “The Ancient of Days,” when matter and created mind were alike unborn, and even space was not, God, the great I Am, was as perfect, glorious, and blessed as he is now. There was no sun, and yet Jehovah dwelt in light ineffable; there was no earth, and yet his throne stood fast and firm; there were no heavens, and yet his glory was unbounded.

God inhabited eternity in the infinite majesty and happiness of his self-contained greatness. If the Lord, thus abiding in awful solitude, should choose to create anything, the first thought and idea must come of him, for there was no other to think or suggest. All things must be of him in design. With whom can he take counsel? Who shall instruct him? There existed not another to come into the council-chamber, even if such an assistance could be supposable with the Most High. In the beginning of his way before his works of old, eternal wisdom brought forth from its own mind the perfect plan of future creations, and every line and mark therein must clearly have been of the Lord alone. He ordained the pathway of every planet, and the abode of every fixed star. He poured forth the sweet influences of the Pleiades, and girt Orion with his bands. He appointed the bounds of the sea, and settled the course of the winds. As to the earth, the Lord alone planned its foundations, and stretched his line upon it. He formed in his own mind the mold of all his creatures and found for them a dwelling and a service. He appointed the degree of strength with which he would endow each creature, settled its months of life, its hour of death, its coming and its going. Divine wisdom mapped this earth, its flowing rivers and foaming seas, the towering mountains, and the laughing valleys. The divine Architect fixed the gates of the morning and the doors of the shadow of death. Nothing could have been suggested by any other, for there was no other to suggest. It was in his power to have made a universe very different from this, if he had so pleased; and that he has made it what it is, must have been merely because in his wisdom and prudence he saw fit to do so.


C. H. Spurgeon
From a sermon entitled "Laus Deo," delivered May 29, 1864.

Friday, December 21, 2012

It is written...

I recently posted a short video by Ray Comfort entitled Genius; in this video Ray does an excellent job of presenting the law. The problem I had with the video is when he asks a sinner when they might repent. I understand some will say this is merely nit-picking, but I must disagree. We simply must get the Gospel right and not add to it nor take from it. Ray did comment on my post, but he did not address his asking sinners to repent. I did address this matter in my response to his comment and wanted to share what I wrote....

"I thought about this after my last comment and feel the need to add this...repentance is not a choice, it is a command given by God to Christ-rejecting, sin-loving, depraved sinners. We are all born in sin, as Psalm 51:5 attests to {concerning man's love of sin and our natural love of it, see also Gen. 8:21, Ps. 58:3, Job 14:4, Job 15:14-16; John 3:6; Rom.5:12; Eph.2:3}.

Sinners will not choose anything but sin, it is our nature to do so. I love what Charles Spurgeon said concerning man's inability to come to Christ on his own..."Permit me to show you wherein this inability of man really does lie. It lies deep in his nature. Through the fall, and through our own sin, the nature of man has become so debased, and depraved, and corrupt, that it is impossible for him to come to Christ without the assistance of God the Holy Spirit."
This is why we cannot ask sinners to repent, or to accept Jesus, or invite Him into their hearts. When we ask them questions like that, we are doing a ministry that is reserved solely for God the Spirit; not only that, we are asking them to do something they are unable to do because of their depraved state, being dead in sin means they are unable to do anything. God must re-birth the sinner, in so doing they then are able to understand their own depravity, their hopeless condition. This is why the publican cried out 'O God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' He understood, by grace, his true state. Grace is what is necessary for salvation, not coercing or prodding sinners to act in a manner contrary to their nature.

I do pray for you brother, and would ask you do the same for me. The Gospel truth, the whole counsel, which includes the doctrines of grace, is much too important to add to or take away from. We must understand the depraved state of man and his inability to do anything but sin; we must rightly comprehend God's amazing grace and Christ's perfect and fully acceptable atoning work as well as His righteous life plus the ministry of God the Spirit as the Trinity bring a sinner from darkness to light. Lastly, we absolutely, positively MUST remember, the power of salvation lies in the proper proclaiming of the Gospel, not in invitations or in promptings by us to get the sinner to respond"

I believe we need to follow the example of the Apostles when they proclaimed Christ and His Gospel; nowhere in Scripture do we find them asking sinners 'when do you think you might repent?'

Here is what we do find...
 "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself." - Acts 2:38-39
Christ commands sinners to repent as well in Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:15, Luke 5:32, and Luke 24:47.

 He never gave them a list of choices, He never added a 'work' for them to do in order to help bring salvation about; He NEVER presented truth as though it were debatable or dependent upon their response or actions.

When tempted by Satan in Matthew, the Lord responded, "it is written". He did not then say, 'now, do you think you'll make a decision for me?', or 'when might you ask me into your heart?' These questions are silly, I know, but the point I am making is this; we should follow this example of sticking with 'it is written' and not tack on questions to our proclaiming of the Gospel. We have been passed down a most noble task from those who've gone before us; Dr. Boice, A. W. Tozer, A. W. Pink, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, C. H. Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Bunyan, Cotton Mathers, and many more - all the way back to the 12 Apostles....the beginning of which is Christ Himself.  We must handle the Gospel of Christ as though it were a precious commodity; not wanting to change, modify, or tweak it for fear of it losing its value. A Gospel that is added to or taken away from becomes an accursed gospel, which is no gospel at all. This type of gospel has no power, no worth, no effectiveness. This is why it is a very big deal on how we proclaim God's truth, the whole counsel, to the unregenerate. When we play fast and loose with the word of God, we show how little reverence we have for His word as well as a lack of trust in the power of His word - "so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11

 We are to proclaim truth and not tamper with it. When tampered with, we suck the life out of it and render it useless. We should do as those who've gone on before us have done; men like Robert Murray M'Cheyne who being conscious of the great responsibility before him said, "Began in fear and weakness, and in much trembling. May the power be of God!"
It's been said of M'Cheyne by his peers, "He was convinced that a diligent minister ought to expect success in God's service, but he saw that he could not hope for such success unless he were willing to preach Christ for Christ's sake alone." M'Cheyne understood who this God he proclaimed was and his reverence for Him ran deep, as one of his best known poems reflects....
                                  When I stand before the throne,
                                  Dressed in beauty not my own,
                                  When I see Thee as Thou art,
                                  Love Thee with unsinning heart.
                                  Then Lord, shall I fully know—
                                  Not till then—how much I owe.

May God honor His word, may His blessings be added to the proclaiming of His truth. May His people tremble at His word and treat it as it is...holy, precious, undefiled, powerful, true and timeless.


Human Inability-Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Free will or bondage of the will

This is an absolutely fascinating article by Bob DeWaay  on the human will. Do take some time to read this...

“So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.” (Romans 9:16)
“Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.” (Psalm 135:6)
Questions from readers prompt the writing of many CIC articles. The most frequently asked question that I have not addressed until now concerns free will. I thoroughly researched this topic nearly ten years ago. The reason for the delay is the complexity of the topic. Given, however, that the question continues to be asked, I shall address it now.
Dear readers, be warned in advance that the irreducible complexity of the topic will make this article difficult for many to follow. If you are a new reader, please be patient, this is not standard fare on these pages. To help those who have difficulty digesting philosophical arguments, I have provided summary statements at the end of sections. Feel free to skip forward to those summary statements if you see fit.
Please realize that free will is more of a philosophical concept than a theological one, though it has theological implications. However, I often see well meaning Christians misled by certain teachers who make their own understanding of free will a test for orthodoxy. I think this is unfortunate and confusing. If the following discussion does nothing else, it will show you that free will is not the simple solution to many important theological issues that many people think it is.

Two Definitions

I will be discussing two alternative definitions of free will. The first is the typical definition demanded by Arminians (those who believe that a free will choice to believe brings about salvation): “The ability to choose between options, either of which could be actualized by the act of choosing.” The second definition was proposed by Jonathan Edwards: “The ability to choose as one pleases.” I will explain these in the pages that follow and defend the second one. In so doing I will discuss several problems that arise in seeking to understand free will.

read on here...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Who's in Charge?

Who is regulating affairs on this earth today—God, or the Devil? That God reigns supreme in Heaven, is generally conceded; that He does so over this world, is almost universally denied—if not directly, then indirectly. More and more are men in their philosophizing and theorizing, relegating God to the background. Take the material realm. Not only is it denied that God created everything, by personal and direct action, but few believe that He has any immediate concern in regulating the works of His own hands. Everything is supposed to be ordered according to the (impersonal and abstract) "laws of Nature". Thus is the Creator banished from His own creation. Therefore we need not be surprised that men, in their degrading conceptions, exclude Him from the realm of human affairs. Throughout Christendom, with an almost negligible exception, the theory is held that man is "a free agent", and therefore, lord of his fortunes and the determiner of his destiny. That Satan is to be blamed for much of the evil which is in the world, is freely affirmed by those who, though having so much to say about "the responsibility of man", often deny their own responsibility, by attributing to the Devil what, in fact, proceeds from their own evil hearts (Mark 7 :21-23).
But who is regulating affairs on this earth today—God, or the Devil? Attempt to take a serious and comprehensive view of the world. What a scene of confusion and chaos confronts us on every side! Sin is rampant; lawlessness abounds; evil men and seducers are waxing "worse and worse" (2 Tim. 3:13). Today, everything appears to be out of joint. Thrones are creaking and tottering, ancient dynasties are being overturned, democracies are revolting, civilization is a demonstrated failure; half of Christendom was but recently locked-together in a death grapple; and now that the titanic conflict is over, instead of the world having been made "safe for democracy", we have discovered that democracy is very unsafe for the world. Unrest, discontent, and lawlessness are rife every where, and none can say how soon another great war will be set in motion. Statesmen are perplexed and staggered. Men’s hearts are "failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth" (Luke 21:26). Do these things look as though God had full control?
But let us confine our attention to the religious realm. After nineteen centuries of Gospel preaching, Christ is still "despised and rejected of men". Worse still, He (the Christ of Scripture) is proclaimed and magnified by very few. In the majority of modern pulpits He is dishonored and disowned. Despite frantic efforts to attract the crowds, the majority of the churches are being emptied rather than filled. And what of the great masses of non-church goers? In the light of Scripture we are compelled to believe that the "many" are on the Broad Road that leadeth to destruction, and that only "few" are on the Narrow Way that leadeth unto life. Many are declaring that Christianity is a failure, and despair is settling on many faces. Not a few of the Lord’s own people are bewildered, and their faith is being severely tried. And what of God? Does He see and hear? Is He impotent or indifferent? A number of those who are regarded as leaders of Christian-thought told us that, God could not help the coming of the late awful War, and that He was unable to bring about its termination. It was said, and said openly, that conditions were beyond God’s control. Do these things look as though God were ruling the world?
Who is regulating affairs on this earth today—God, or the Devil? What impression is made upon the minds of those men of the world who, occasionally, attend a Gospel service? What are the conceptions formed by those who hear even those preachers who are counted as "orthodox"? Is it not that a disappointed God is the One whom Christians believe in? From what is heard from the average evangelist today, is not any serious hearer obliged to conclude that he professes to represent a God who is filled with benevolent intentions, yet unable to carry them out; that He is earnestly desirous of blessing men, but that they will not let Him? Then, must not the average hearer draw the inference that the Devil has gained the upper hand, and that God is to be pitied rather than blamed?
But does not everything seem to show that the Devil has far more to do with the affairs of earth than God has? Ah, it all depends upon whether we are walking by faith, or walking by sight. Are your thoughts, my reader, concerning this world and God’s relation to it, based upon what you see? Face this question seriously and honestly. And if you are a Christian, you will, most probably, have cause to bow your head with shame and sorrow, and to acknowledge that it is so. Alas, in reality, we walk very little "by faith". But what does "walking by faith" signify? It means that our thoughts are formed, our actions regulated, our lives molded by the Holy Scriptures, for, "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10:17). It is from the Word of Truth, and that alone, that we can learn what is God’s relation to this world.
Who is regulating affairs on this earth today—God or the Devil? What saith the Scriptures? Ere we consider the direct reply to this query, let it be said that, the Scriptures predicted just what we now see and hear. The prophecy of Jude is in course of fulfillment. It would lead us too far astray from our present inquiry to fully amplify this assertion, but what we have particularly in mind is a sentence in verse 8—"Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion and speak evil of dignities." Yes, they "speak evil" of the Supreme Dignity, the "Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords." Ours is peculiarly an age of irreverence, and as the consequence, the spirit of lawlessness, which brooks no restraint and which is desirous of casting off everything which interferes with the free course of self-will, is rapidly engulfing the earth like some giant tidal wave. The members of the rising generation are the most flagrant offenders, and in the decay and disappearing of parental authority we have the certain precursor of the abolition of civic authority. Therefore, in view of the growing disrespect for human law and the refusal to "render honor to whom honor is due," we need not be surprised that the recognition of the majesty, the authority, the sovereignty of the Almighty Law-giver should recede more and more into the background, and that the masses have less and less patience with those who insist upon them. And conditions will not improve; instead, the more sure Word of Prophecy makes known to us that they will grow worse and worse. Nor do we expect to be able to stem the tide—it has already risen much too high for that. All we can now hope to do is warn our fellow-saints against the spirit of the age, and thus seek to counteract its baneful influence upon them.
Who is regulating affairs on this earth today—God, or the Devil? What saith the Scriptures? If we believe their plain and positive declarations, no room is left for uncertainty. They affirm, again and again, that God is on the throne of the universe; that the sceptre is in His hands; that He is directing all things "after the counsel of His own will". They affirm, not only that God created all things, but also that God is ruling and reigning over all the works of His hands. They affirm that God is the "Almighty", that His will is irreversible, that He is absolute sovereign in every realm of all His vast dominions. And surely it must be so. Only two alternatives are possible: God must either rule, or be ruled; sway, or be swayed; accomplish His own will, or be thwarted by His creatures. Accepting the fact that He is the "Most High", the only Potentate and King of kings, vested with perfect wisdom and illimitable power, and the conclusion is irresistible that He must be God in fact, as well as in name.
It is in view of what we have briefly referred to above. that we say, Present-day conditions call loudly for a new examination and new presentation of God’s omnipotency, God’s sufficiency, God’s sovereignty. From every pulpit in the land it needs to be thundered forth that God still lives, that God still observes, that God still reigns. Faith is now in the crucible, it is being tested by fire, and there is no fixed and sufficient resting-place for the heart and mind but in the Throne of God. What is needed now, as never before, is a full, positive, constructive setting forth of the Godhood of God. Drastic diseases call for drastic remedies. People are weary of platitudes and mere generalizations—the call is for something definite and specific. Soothing-syrup may serve for peevish children, but an iron tonic is better suited for adults, and we know of nothing which is more calculated to infuse spiritual vigor into our frames than a scriptural apprehension of the full character of God. It is written, "The people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits" (Dan. 11:32).
Without a doubt a world-crisis is at hand, and everywhere men are alarmed. But God is not! He is never taken by surprise. It is no unexpected emergency which now confronts Him, for He is the One who "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph. 1:11). Hence, though the world is panic-stricken, the word to the believer is, "Fear not"! "All things" are subject to His immediate control: "all things" are moving in accord with His eternal purpose, and therefore, "all things" are "working together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." It must be so, for "of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things" (Rom. 11:36). Yet how little is this realized today even by the people of God! Many suppose that He is little more than a far-distant Spectator, taking no immediate hand in the affairs of earth. It is true that man has a will, but so also has God. It is true that man is endowed with power, but God is all-powerful. It is true that, speaking generally, the material world is regulated by law, but behind that law is the law-Giver and law-Administrator. Man is but the creature. God is the Creator, and endless ages before man first saw the light "the mighty God" (Isa. 9:6) existed, and ere the world was founded, made His plans; and being infinite in power and man only finite, His purpose and plan cannot be withstood or thwarted by the creatures of His own hands.
We readily acknowledge that life is a profound problem, and that we are surrounded by mystery on every side; but we are not like the beasts of the field—ignorant of their origin, and unconscious of what is before them. No: "We have also a more sure Word of Prophecy", of which it is said ye do well that ye "take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts" (2 Pet. 1:19). And it is to this Word of Prophecy we indeed do well to "take heed," to that Word which had not its origin in the mind of man but in the Mind of God, for, "the prophecy came not at any time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake moved by the Holy Spirit." We say again, it is to this "Word" we do well to take heed. As we turn to this Word and are instructed there, we discover a fundamental principle which must be applied to every problem: Instead of beginning with man and his world and working back to God, we must begin with God and work down to man—"In the beginning God"! Apply this principle to the present situation. Begin with the world as it is today and try and work back to God, and everything will seem to show that God has no connection with the world at all. But begin with God and work down to the world and light, much light, is cast on the problem. Because God is holy His anger burns against sin; because God is righteous His judgments fall upon those who rebel against Him; because God is faithful the solemn threatenings of His Word are fulfilled; because God is omnipotent none can successfully resist Him, still less overthrow His counsel; and because God is omniscient no problem can master Him and no difficulty baffle His wisdom. It is just because God is who He is and what He is that we are now beholding on earth what we do—the beginning of His out-poured judgments: in view of His inflexible justice and immaculate holiness we could not expect anything other than what is now spread before our eyes.
But let it be said very emphatically that the heart can only rest upon and enjoy the blessed truth of the absolute sovereignty of God as faith is in exercise. Faith is ever occupied with God. That is the character of it: that is what differentiates it from intellectual theology. Faith endures "as seeing Him who is invisible" (Heb. 11:27) : endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the heart-aches of life, by recognizing that all comes from the hand of Him who is too wise to err and too loving to be unkind. But so long as we are occupied with any other object than God Himself, there will be neither rest for the heart nor peace for the mind. But when we receive all that enters our lives as from His hand, then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings—whether in a hovel, a prison-dungeon, or a martyr’s stake—we shall be enabled to say, "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places" (Ps. 16:6). But that is the language of faith, not of sight or of sense.
But if instead of bowing to the testimony of Holy Writ, if instead of walking by faith, we follow the evidence of our eyes, and reason therefrom, we shall fall into a quagmire of virtual atheism. Or, if we are regulated by the opinions and views of others, peace will be at an end. Granted that there is much in this world of sin and, suffering which appalls and saddens us; granted that there is much in the providential dealings of God which startle and stagger us; that is no reason why we should unite with the unbelieving worldling who says, "If I were God, I would not allow this or tolerate that" etc. Better far, in the presence of bewildering mystery, to say with one of old, "I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because Thou didst it" (Ps. 39:9). Scripture tells us that God’s judgments are "unsearchable", and His ways "past finding out" (Rom. 11:33). It must be so if faith is to be tested, confidence in His wisdom and righteousness strengthened, and submission to His holy will fostered.
Here is the fundamental difference between the man of faith and the man of unbelief. The unbeliever is "of the world," judges everything by worldly standards, views life from the standpoint of time and sense, and weighs everything in the balances of his own carnal making. But the man of faith brings in God, looks at everything from His standpoint, estimates values by spiritual standards, and views life in the light of eternity. Doing this, he receives whatever comes as from the hand of God. Doing this, his heart is calm in the midst of the storm. Doing this, he rejoices in hope of the glory of God.
In these opening paragraphs we have indicated the lines of thought followed out in this book. Our first postulate is that because God is God, He does as He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases; that His great concern is the accomplishment of His own pleasure and the promotion of His own glory; that He is the Supreme Being, and therefore Sovereign of the universe. Starting with this postulate we have contemplated the exercise of God’s Sovereignty, first in Creation, second in Governmental Administration over the works of His hands, third in the Salvation of His own elect, fourth in the Reprobation of the wicked, and fifth in Operation upon and within men. Next we have viewed the Sovereignty of God as it relates to the human will in particular and human Responsibility in general, and have sought to show what is the only becoming attitude for the creature to take in view of the majesty of the Creator. A separate chapter has been set apart for a consideration of some of the difficulties which are involved, and to answering the questions which are likely to be raised in the minds of our readers; while one chapter has been devoted to a more careful yet brief examination of God’s Sovereignty in relation to prayer. Finally, we have sought to show that the Sovereignty of God is a truth revealed to us in Scripture for the comfort of our hearts, the strengthening of our souls, and the blessing of our lives. A due apprehension of God’s Sovereignty promotes the spirit of worship, provides an incentive to practical godliness, and inspires zeal in service. It is deeply humbling to the human heart, but in proportion to the degree that it brings man into the dust before his Maker, to that extent is God glorified.
We are well aware that what we have written is in open opposition to much of the teaching that is current both in religious literature and in the representative pulpits of the land. We freely grant that the postulate of God’s Sovereignty with all its corollaries is at direct variance with the opinions and thoughts of the natural man, but the truth is, we are quite unable to think upon these matters: we are incompetent for forming a proper estimate of God’s character and ways, and it is because of this that God has given us a revelation of His mind, and in that revelation He plainly declares, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Is. 55:8,9). In view of this scripture, it is only to be expected that much of the contents of the Bible conflicts with the sentiments of the carnal mind, which is enmity against God. Our appeal then is not to the popular beliefs of the day, nor to the creeds of the churches, but to the Law and Testimony of Jehovah. All that we ask for is an impartial and attentive examination of what we have written, and that, made prayerfully in the light of the Lamp of Truth. May the reader heed the Divine admonition to "prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thess. 5:21).

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Their foot shall slide in due time

Jonathan Edward's exceptional sermon 'Sinners in the hands of an angry God' is wonderfully narrated here by Max McClean. This is such a necessary sermon for our day, just as it was in Edward's day...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ray Comfort's 'Genius'

This is amazing, people professing to be Christian, some famous, others not, and yet, they admit they would kill for money, or are cross-dressers;this is the product of the 'invite Jesus into your heart', 'praying the sinner's prayer' and other man-made methods of salvation that do not save. I am not a fan of 'canned evangelism', where you rehearse your responses, or where everything is 'scripted'. Relying on your own wisdom will not win souls to Christ.

**Note: I do NOT agree with Comfort's method of delivering the Gospel, telling sinners they need to repent and asking them when they will do so. He fails to understand man's depravity, his inability to receive the gift apart from grace. He tells them they can receive eternal life by repenting and trusting in Jesus, which a depraved sinner is unable to do. Ray presents repentance as a choice given to the sinner instead of what it really is...a command by Almighty God.
  Sinners must throw themselves on the mercy of God {which the preaching of the Gospel causes them to do}; to tell them they must repent is an impossible task apart from grace. The preaching of the whole counsel {which includes the Gospel} and the giving of the law is what plows the heart, breaks up the fallow ground and causes the sinner to cry out; this is the ministry of the Holy Spirit, not the messenger. We should indeed tell sinners the Bible commands us to repent, but we should never tell sinners to repent and then ask them when they might do so.   It would seem Ray Comfort is part of the problem, and not the solution to the state of superficial Christianity in America.

"Ye must be born again" - the doctrine of regeneration...impossible for mankind to attain apart from grace.**

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Power of Grace

Our hearts are weaned from the world and its lure by grace, how little do most understand God's grace and how it is used in His people. This sermon by Matthew Mead sets out to show us how grace weans us from the world and its deadly over-empowering draw...

"Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother. My soul is even as a weaned child." Psalm 131:1-2
Chrysostom, in commending the grace of humility, says, "Humility is the foundation of Christian virtue." Indeed, humility is the ornament of all the graces of God's Spirit. Grace is the beauty of the soul, and humility is the beauty of grace.
Now David, being about to commend this grace to the saints, does propound himself as an example of it in this Psalm: "My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me." Psalm 131:1.
But what was it, which thus humbled David's heart, and took him off from doting upon the world's grandeur, and from delighting himself in present enjoyments?
Why God had, by the power of his grace, taken his heart off from all things here below, by showing him the vanity and emptiness of them; so that he was wholly weaned from them. So he says, verse 2, "I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child."
Doctrine: "Where the grace of God takes hold of the soul—it makes it as a weaned child, to all worldly things."
I. In the discussing this doctrine, I shall show you what it is to be "as a weaned child."
II. I shall show you that there is a great resemblance between a weaned child and a gracious soul.
III. I shall show you how grace weans the heart from all worldly things.

continue reading here...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Our struggle


A.W. Pink preaches on Romans 7, narrated by T. Sullivan. We struggle with our 'wretched man', Pink expounds on this; you may listen to this excellent sermon here...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Seeking the face of God

I am just about finished reading 'Seeking the face of God', a book that deals with select Psalms and Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent preaching and insight on them. He gives wisdom on how to seek the face of God and how to live joyfully in His presence. For example, in chapter 8, 'Always in His presence', Lloyd-Jones reflects on Psalm 16:8 'I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.'  According to Lloyd-Jones, the application of this verse is 'the determination to live life in the conscious presence of God, that is what the Psalmist is saying. He has set the Lord God always before him; he says in essence, "I am going to live consciously in His presence, as long as I do that, I shall not be moved." "I have set the Lord"; this term is used very frequently in the Scriptures. We should set ourselves in the right angle, in the correct position. We must get the right perspective, we must constantly look at those things and gaze upon them. Setting obviously implies determination, it includes an act of the will and implies a very definite decision. Determination involves thought: I am determined, I am resolved, I will live as in the presence of God, that is the first thing {we must determine to do}.
Christian biography proves abundantly that the people who have had the most gracious and the most frequent visitations from God have been those who have sought Him most diligently". - Lloyd-Jones 

Another Psalm he addresses is Ps. 27:13, 'I had fainted, unless I had believed'. Here is his insight -"This is always the beginning, you cannot have anything without belief. But even that is not enough. Some people believe the truth about God as it is revealed in the Bible and yet remain in trouble and defeated, why? Because they have not gone on to do the other things that the psalmist tells us. This 'one thing', this total concentration upon God, is essential. The devils also believe, and tremble, says James 2:19. God must become the supreme focus of your life. He must be the one object of your desire and your ambition. This, too, is found throughout the Scriptures...'I press toward the mark' {Phil. 3:14}; it is the realization that nothing really matters ultimately in life except my relationship to God, 'that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life'. This does not refer to a physical building, nor does it mean that you want to spend the whole of your time in a chapel or a church-that is only part of it. What it really means is this: 'that I might belong to the household of God; that I am ever in communion with God, in fellowship with God, in touch with Him'. In effect, the psalmist is saying 'what I want above everything else in this world is always to be in an intimate relationship with God, so that whatever happens, I am with Him and He is with me'. This is the first thing in his life and the secret of his whole position. This man's supreme desire is to worship God and to adore Him; so that is what he starts with: 'one thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life'. What for? 'to behold the beauty of the LORD'. A much better translation of the word rendered 'behold' would have been 'gaze upon, meditate upon, consider'-it means to see the desirableness of God, to see His goodness, to consider and to meditate upon and to contemplate His excellencies. That is what this man wants above everything else. 
The psalmist wanted to gaze upon the glory of God, the beauty of the Lord in His very being, the consideration of His attributes. Do you do this? Is this your supreme ambition? Is this your greatest desire? My dear friend, this is the whole secret of life! If you want to be "more than  conqueror" like this man, you must spend your time as he did. This must be your supreme desire." - Martyn Lloyd-Jones

From his book, 'the pursuit of God', Tozer writes 'come near to the holy men and women of the past and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God. They mourned for Him, they prayed and wrestled and sought for Him day and night, in season and out, and when they had found Him the finding was all the sweeter for the long seeking.'  
These two men went where few of us desire to go...deeper into God, into His presence. They knew the blessing of being consumed by God, to be infatuated with Him; to eat, sleep and breathe God. They knew it was a gift that must be sought, 'that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him'{Hebrews 11:6}. They knew the way to get there...through continual prayer and the reading of the word. These two books are an absolute must read for every child of God, they will help you on your journey into deeper intimacy with the living God.

Tozer ends chapter one with a prayer, which I think is very fitting to end this post with...

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, `Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.' Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Sin of Silence - Repost

I strongly feel that the time in which we live warrants a re-post of this piece. You may read it in its entirety here or listen to it here  or  listen to it here... {I highly recommend one or the other}


by Dr. Laurence White

Let me begin with a story about an incident that took place a few years ago as the president of a Christian university addressed the crowd. "Today is November the 9th, the 50th anniversary of the 'kristal nacht'...the night of the broken glass. On this day in 1938, Nazi thugs moved through the cities of Germany smashing the windows of German homes and shops, burning the synagogues. Innocent people; men, women and children were beaten and killed simply because they were Jews. I was there as a young man," the president went on to say, through tears, "There were many of us who were Christians then, but we did nothing." He went on to quote the words inscribed at the Auschwitz memorial in Poland, a place where so many died. "Never again", he pleaded.

My friends, it is happening again. It is happening again today in our beautiful America, so richly and abundantly blessed by a gracious God. It is happening today as the innocent are slaughtered in a holocaust that has seen well over forty million little boys and girls brutally done to death. It is happening again as families are fractured and marriages are broken, while self-obsessed people pursue the immediate gratification of their every desire. It is happening again as militant homosexuals pursue absolute approval, complete acceptance, and preferential legal treatment for their perversion. It is happening again as our young people have lost their way, and often their lives, in a maze of alcohol and drugs; and the corridors and classrooms of the high schools of our land are littered with the bodies of murdered teenagers. It is happening again as the nation's leaders wallow in decadence and deceit, while the people look on in apathetic indifference.
While the killing goes on and the nation is led down the path of destruction, the church and her pastors stand silent and afraid. This country that we love, our America, is fighting for her life. Not against the military power of foreign enemies, but against the principalities and powers of this dark age. You and I, as sons and daughters of the Lord Jesus Christ, are being called upon to take a stand at this moment of crisis. And let there be no one among us who doubts the urgency of this hour. To compare what is happening in America today to Nazi Germany is no mere flight of rhetorical exaggeration.

This nation is heedlessly stumbling toward third millennium darkness. Look around you and read the signs of the times. Look beyond the walls of our beautiful sanctuaries, and the comfort of our padded pews to see the chaos, the corruption, and the confusion that reigns throughout our culture. We live in a society where passions are riderless horses, uncontrolled and uncontrollable in which there is a desolation of decency; in which love has become a jungle emotion, lust exalted to lordship, sin elevated to sovereignty, Satan adored as a saint, and man magnified above his Maker. Americans have come to dwell in an Alice in Wonderland world of fantasy and self-delusion. Everything has been turned upside down and inside out in our America. Right is wrong, wrong is right; good is bad, bad is good; normal is abnormal, abnormal is normal; true is false, false is true. We are fast degenerating into a decadent culture obsessed with selfishness and sin, death and destruction.

In the face of this relentless onslaught of evil, the church of Jesus Christ has grown timid and afraid. We have abandoned the truth of God's word, compromised the stern demands of His law, tailored our message to meet the felt needs of sinful men, and prostituted ourselves and the Gospel that we profess to proclaim for worldly popularity and success. We, as Christian pastors, seem to have forgotten that God did not call us to be popular or successful...God called us to be faithful. Faithful preaching never comes in the form of safely vague, pious platitudes. Faithful preaching must identify and denounce the false gods of this world that call upon our people to bow down before them every day. God did not call us to be successful CEO's, protecting institutional peace and tranquility, bringing in the bodies and the bucks by avoiding controversy, and telling everybody what they want to hear. God called us to proclaim His word, to be vigilant watchmen standing high upon the walls of Zion, sounding forth the clear clarion call of the trumpet; calling out God's people to war against the host of evil advancing all around us. We as the Christians of America, we as the Pastors of America, have failed in this responsibility before God. Our country is paying a dire price for that failure; make no mistake about it brothers and sisters, we are responsible.

The great reformer Martin Luther once declared that the preacher who does not rebuke the sins of the rulers through God's word spoken publicly, boldly and honestly, strengthens the sins of the tyrants; becoming a partaker in them and bearing responsibility for them.

When Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, he scornfully dismissed the church, and her pastors as an irrelevant force which posed no threat to the Nazi agenda for that great nation."I promise you", he boasted in his inner circle, "that if I wish to I could destroy the church in just a few years. It is hollow, it is rotten, and false through and through. One push and the whole structure would collapse. We should trap the preachers by their notorious greed and self-indulgence. We shall thus be able to settle everything with them in perfect peace and harmony. I shall give them a few years reprieve, why should we quarrel? They will swallow anything in order to keep their material advantage. The parsons will be made to dig their own graves, they will betray their God for us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable jobs and incomes." - Adolf Hitler
The dictator's words proved to be tragically accurate. The great majority of Christians in Germany looked the other way and minded their own business. They blended in and went along following the path of least resistance. They did that which was expedient, practical and safe while their country was dragged down into a swirling maelstrom of barbarism and death. Germany lay in ruins; her great cities bombed out of existence. Cathedrals that had stood for a thousand years reduced to piles of broken brick and rubble. In the face of monstrous evil, he who keeps silent fails in his responsibility before God and shares in the guilt.

The moral meltdown that has overtaken America has been met with a deafening silence from the pulpits of America and the people-pleasing preachers who presume to stand in them. This desolation of decency could not have occurred if the pulpits of this land were once again aflame with righteousness. To use Alexis De Toqueville's famous words, "By our apathy, by our acquiescence, and by our ignorance, the church of Jesus Christ has consigned itself to irrelevance and impotence in the ongoing struggle for the soul of America."
Our political leaders deal in trivialities and superficial nonsense, practicing the feel-good politics of deliberate ambiguity; while the destruction of our families, the perversion of our most basic moral principals, and the murder of innocent unborn children goes on and on and on...........

The issue before us as Christians and as Christian pastors is faithfulness to the word of God and submission to the Lord Jesus Christ. To speak to the great moral issues of our day is an integral and essential part of that God-given responsibility. To fail to do so is nothing less than a denial of the Lordship of Jesus.

Our Mindset

‘Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.’  – Colossians 3:2

This is an hourly battle for me, victory comes by a continual feeding upon and recalling of His word. According to Thayer’s Greek Definitions, to ‘set your mind’ is to direct your mind towards a thing, to seek and strive for what it is you’ve directed your mind towards.
Strong’s defines this phrase as ‘to exercise the mind’, which means there must be a concentrated effort on our part; as John Gill so wisely comments “For unless the affections are set on them, they will never be sought after in a proper manner. The word signifies to mind them, and think on them, to favour and approve of them, to be affectionately desirous of them, and concerned for them; for where the treasure is, the heart should be; and as the saints' best things are above, their minds and affections should be there likewise; their contemplation should be on those things, and their conversation should be in heaven; nor should they regard anything but what is there, or comes from thence, for they belong not to this world, but to another and better country: their citizenship is in heaven, and there, in a short time, they must have their everlasting residence; and therefore should seek after, and highly prize and value heavenly things, and set their affections on them.”

I think Matthew Henry does an excellent job as well in his commentary on this verse…
Observe, To seek heavenly things is to set our affections upon them, to love them and let our desires be towards them. Upon the wings of affection the heart soars upwards, and is carried forth towards spiritual and divine objects. We must acquaint ourselves with them, esteem them above all other things, and lay out ourselves in preparation for the enjoyment of them. David gave this proof of his loving the house of God, that he diligently sought after it, and prepared for it. This is to be spiritually minded, and to seek and desire a better country, that is, a heavenly. Things on earth are here set in opposition to things above. We must not dote upon them, nor expect too much from them, that we may set our affections on heaven; for heaven and earth are contrary one to the other, and a supreme regard to both is inconsistent; and the prevalence of our affection to one will proportionably weaken and abate our affection to the other.
II. He assigns three reasons for this.
1. That we are dead; that is, to present things, and as our portion. We are so in profession and obligation; for we are buried with Christ, and planted into the likeness of his death. Every Christian is crucified unto the world, and the world is crucified unto him. And if we are dead to the earth, and have renounced it as our happiness, it is absurd for us to set our affections upon it, and seek it. We should be like a dead thing to it, unmoved and unaffected towards it.
2. Our true life lies in the other world: You are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. The new man has its livelihood thence. It is born and nourished from above; and the perfection of its life is reserved for that state. It is hid with Christ; not hid from us only, in point of secrecy, but hid for us, denoting security. The life of a Christian is hid with Christ. Because I live you shall live also. Christ is at present a hidden Christ, or one whom we have not seen; but this is our comfort, that our life is hid with him, and laid up safely with him. As we have reason to love him whom we have not seen, so we may take the comfort of a happiness out of sight, and reserved in heaven for us.
3. Because at the second coming of Christ we hope for the perfection of our happiness. If we live a life of Christian purity and devotion now, when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we shall also appear with him in glory. Observe, (1.) Christ is a believer's life. I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me. He is the principle and end of the Christian's life. He lives in us by his Spirit, and we live to him in all we do. To me to live is Christ. (2.) Christ will appear again. He is now hid; and the heavens must contain him; but he will appear in all the pomp of the upper world, with his holy angels, and in his own glory and his Father's glory (3.) We shall then appear with him in glory. It will be his glory to have his redeemed with him; he will come to be glorified in his saints; and it will be their glory to come with him, and be with him forever. At the second coming of Christ there will be a general meeting of all the saints; and those whose life is now hid with Christ shall then appear with Christ in that glory which he himself enjoys. Do we look for such a happiness, and should we not set our affections upon that world, and live above this? What is there here to make us fond of it? What is there not there to draw our hearts to it? Our head is there, our home is there, our treasure is there, and we hope to be there forever.”  
 The saying ‘home is where the heart is’ certainly makes sense if your heart is fixated upon your eternal home. To think upon what awaits us should excite us, especially when we look around us and see the decay and downward progression of society. Judgment looms for this world and its inhabitants, but eternal joy and freedom from sin’s curse and its affects are what awaits us. Sin will be no more, I am not sure I can even wrap my mind around that. It is beneficial to me to recall 1 Corinthians 7:31b, For the present form of this world is passing away.’  I also recall 2 Peter 3:7, ‘But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.’ The unregenerate are hanging on to a world that is destined for judgment; they also hang on to a temporal hope of an existence that is like a vapor, never pondering on their own mortality and certain death. Living for the moment is their motto and it keeps them content and happy. Sadly, it will leave them the moment their breath leaves them.

May we exercise our minds towards eternity, being dead to the things of this world and its temporal pulse.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

To be 'given over'

I believe the times in which we live are crucial times, dangerous times, dark times; I base this on the following verses…

Romans 1:26-28For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”

Here is commentary from Davis W. Huckabee on the preceding verses, starting with verse 26 – ‘Again, the cause of this sin is within man, who, being a fallen creature, as naturally desires to sin as water flows downward. He is without excuse because he is not compelled to sin. And there comes a time in the sinner’s life when God ceases to hold him back from his natural bent to sin. “Vile affections” means shameless passion and is explained in verses 26- 27. This refers to homosexuality both in men and women, for which the cities of the plain were destroyed, (Gen. 18:20; 19:24 25). Most sin goes through six stages before God responds in judgment: (1) Shock at it. (2) Joking about it. (3) Curiosity about it. (4) Indulgence in it. (5) Excuses made for it. (6) Stoutly defended as right. Classical writers of old tell how this was a very common and accepted sin among the pagans. Modern attitudes toward this sin are already in the fifth or sixth stage. Has America become so idolatrous that God has given it up as He did the nations of old? Only the saved, as the salt of the earth, (Matthew 5:13), now prevent the utter corruption of the earth.

What really grabbed my attention in Huckabee’s commentary is the six stages he speaks of that precede judgment… we are in the sixth stage. To be given over is to be let loose to do what comes natural…diving headlong into sin. What horror it is when the God of heaven and earth gives mankind over to its own depravity and wickedness; how long before we self-destruct? This would be so if God did not intervene with judgment.

Going on to verse 27, let’s again view commentary from Davis Huckabee, ‘From the chief city that was destroyed for this sin, it is sometimes called sodomy. Men call this “an alternate lifestyle” but the Bible is clear that it is sin of an especially shameful nature. All sin has a natural recompense or payment in kind, and this sin is no exception. Many have tried to deny that AIDS, the disease peculiar to homosexuals, is a Divine retribution, but they are fooling only themselves. However, not all homosexuals get AIDS, but they all receive the reward of their sins “in themselves.” No one profits by any sin, but here, sin has a direct effect upon the minds of those who practice it. Warped morals make for warped characters and personalities because the mind is affected by their rebellion against God. Homosexuals can be saved, (1 Cor. 6:9 11), but not many are, and those who are, cease to commit this.’

There are countless men and women who continue to practice homosexual sin and yet believe themselves to be Christian; they know nothing of the doctrine of repentance. Without repentance of sin, there can be NO salvation; without a forsaking of wickedness, there is NO entrance into God’s holy kingdom. Nothing defiled shall enter within His perfect, pure and sinless kingdom {Revelation 21:27}. Homosexuals insist their perverse way of life is normal, based on love. That is not what the Bible says, ‘burned in their lust one toward another’: to ‘burn’ is to be ‘inflamed deeply, set on fire’. This burning comes from within; it is a self-centered, selfish burning. This burning is for a lust, which is a craving for, longing for, excitement of the mind for what? Someone of the same sex, a desire to be immorally perverse with a same sex partner; this is not love, this is nothing more than a desire to satisfy a perverse sexual appetite. True love is for a man and his wife, not sodomites.  I do believe Albert Barnes says it best, ‘Perhaps there is no sin which so deeply shows the depravity of man as this.’

Verse 28 says “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” Davis Huckabee nails it in his commentary on this passage –“Here is an explanation of what that recompense was. Paul engages in a play on words: “Because they reprobated the knowledge of God, God gave them over to a reprobate mind,” [Alford], or: “As they thought fit to cast out the acknowledgment of God, God gave them over to an outcast mind,” [Conybeare]. A “reprobate mind” is a mind void of right judgment. “It denotes a mind judicially blinded, so as not to discern the difference between things distinguished even by the light of nature,” [Haldane]. They did not like to retain a full knowledge of God, (so the Greek means); they had but a dim memory, and that was a caricature, [Robertson], and so God gave them over to their own desires to have an incorrect knowledge of moral and spiritual truth. “Not convenient” means not fitting or suitable to rational and moral beings. In the following verses, Paul gives examples of what he means. Sin, like cancer, is a progressive evil: it never travels alone, and it never gets better except by grace.”
John Gill defines reprobate as - ‘a vain empty mind, worthless, good for nothing devoid of all true knowledge and judgment; incapable of approving what is truly good, or of disapproving that which is evil; a mind that has lost all conscience of things, and is disapproved of by God, and all good men’.
Matthew Henry also gives a superb definition of a reprobate mind - ‘a mind void of all sense and judgment to discern things that differ, so that they could not distinguish their right hand from their left in spiritual things. See whither a course of sin leads, and into what a gulf it plunges the sinner at last.’

When society is given over to a reprobate mind, sin runs amuck. Romans 1:29-31 speaks of the sins that overtake society as a result of this ‘giving over’- Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers. Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents. Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.” Once more, we will look at commentary from Davis Huckabee…
‘This and the following verses list twenty one distinct sins with which men are filled, and continue to be filled, (so the tense implies), so that it is not a mere tendency to do these things. “Every heart by nature has in it the seed and spawn of all these sins,” [Matthew Henry]. It was such a state that led to the Flood, [Gen. 6:5 6]. “Unrighteousness” is a general term for injustice or iniquity as in verse 18. “Fornication” refers to any sexual intercourse with anyone other than one’s legitimate mate. It is a general term of which adultery is a more specific form. “Wickedness” is another general term for evil. “Covetousness” is literally the desire of having more, and is usually exercised without scruple as to how it is obtained, (1 Tim. 6:9 10). “Maliciousness” is inward viciousness or revengefulness of disposition. “Full of envy” is discontent and jealousy at the prosperity and well-being of others. “Murder” is any form of manslaughter which is done maliciously or from selfish reasons. “Debate” is strife or argument, often involving anger. Some pastors like to debate, thinking they are thereby defending the faith, but this word is never used in a good sense in Scripture. “Deceit” is fraud or falsehood. “Malignity” is rancor, or putting the worst possible interpretation on words and conduct of others. “Whisperers” refers to gossip or the secret slander of men.
“Backbiters” is the public slander of others as whisperers had to do with secret slander. “Haters of God” is taken by many in a passive sense: “hated of God,” which is certainly His attitude toward all slanderers, (Ps. 15:1 3; 101:5; Prov. 8:13). But the active “haters” is also true of all unsaved people. “Despiteful” refers to insolence, insulting or abusive conduct. “Proud” refers to egotism, excessive self- esteem and conceit. “Boasters” is the vocal claim to this supposed superiority over others. “Inventors of evil things” is characteristic of fallen man, (Eccl. 7:29). Every good that man invents he turns to an evil use. “Disobedient to parents” is characteristic of all rebels. It is one of the quickest ways to shorten one’s life (Eph. 6:1 3). The same Greek word as “foolish” in verse 21. Probably in reference to ignorance in spiritual things as in 1 Corinthians 2:14. Spiritual understanding is to be desired, (Col. 1:9). “Covenant breakers” refers to those who are not true to their contracts and commitments. Today we see this commonly in nations violating their covenants, and in the breaking of marriage covenants, as well as in business. “Without natural affection” is seen most commonly today in the desertion and destruction of children by their parents, and in the neglecting of elderly parents by their children. “Implacable” is the refusal to be reconciled to one when an offence has been committed, or holding an unyielding desire for revenge. “Unmerciful” is destitution of compassion. The last four words have been tersely translated: “senseless, faithless, heartless, pitiless,” [Green].’

All that is spoken of by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1 is rampant in our society at this present hour. Again, I ask that you would take note of Davis Huckabee’s commentary on verse 26 – ‘Most sin goes through six stages before God responds in judgment: (1) Shock at it. (2) Joking about it. (3) Curiosity about it. (4) Indulgence in it. (5) Excuses made for it. (6) Stoutly defended as right.’ I need not remind you what stage we are in…