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How to Bear Afflictions

by Willliam Bates

"My son despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him." - HEBREWS 12:5

Secondly. I SHALL proceed to prove, it is the best wisdom not to despise God's chastenings, nor faint under them. I will not insist upon the consideration that it is the counsel of the supreme wisdom to us, nor that it is the avoiding the vicious extremes, which is the chiefest point of moral prudence: but it is the only way to prevent the greatest mischiefs that will otherwise befal us. It is said, he that is wise is profitable to himself, that is either in obtaining good, or preventing evils. Now it will appear how pernicious those extremes are, by considering; Job. 22:21.

Fri, 01/22/2021 - 16:20 -- john_hendryx

Unrest and Civil Religion

If a professing Christian believed they may be unable to pay for their rent this month would it be appropriate for them to ask God to give them a sign as to whether or not they should rob a bank?

If a man saw a beautiful woman who has not his wife, would it be appropriate for him to pray to God to ask him whether or not he should commit adultery with her?  

Likewise, a Christian has no business asking God whether he should incite in a riot, vandalize public property, or participate in an insurrection. 

That such actions are not an option for the Christian should be painfully obvious.  We are never to base on actions on our feelings of injustice, or upon some supposed extra biblical communication from God, but upon Scripture.  Christianity is based on revealed truth, and it should not be up for question as to whether we should engage in said sinful activities.  God does not tell his followers to do things that He has already expressly told them not to.  Do you mean to be pagans under a Christian name, or Christians indeed?  You have but the name only if you trust in your feelings or in supposed personal revelations, if they contradict the word of God. 

Christ’s disciples sit loose from the world, because, however providence may fall out, the Kingdom of God is never a risk.  All things are to be done orderly and legally in respect and honor to the civil magistrate, even if you think what he/she does may be unjust. We are to seek the common good, be patient and listen to viewpoints we sharply disagree with and then deliberate or discuss differences reasonably. Only if the government orders you to stop preaching the gospel, or do something that expressly violates God’s law, are we to peacefully resist. 

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 17:14 -- john_hendryx

True Believers: Upright in Principle

BY WILHELMUS A BRAKEL

True believers are principally upright, for:

(1) Have spiritual light and life, are partakers of the divine nature, and Jesus has been formed within them.

(2) They perceive their wrongdoings, are grieved over them, confess them, by faith seek forgiveness in the blood of Christ, and do battle against them.

(3) They are concerned about this, since they mistrust their hearts and become conscious of their corrupt impulses.They bring their heart before the Lord and pray, ―Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Ps 139:23-24).

(4) This is true in a general and universal sense of the word as far as matters, time, and place are concerned; they make no exception whatsoever. Regardless of whether they fall more into the one sin than the other, it is nevertheless contrary to their intent and the wishes of their heart; it grieves them. Yes, in secret they are much more upright than they are in the presence of men, and their heart is even more upright in principle than it is in its manifestation. They can and dare say to the Lord: ―With my whole heart have I sought Thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments. Therefore I esteem all Thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. (Ps
119:10, 128).

All these matters are true evidences of uprightness. With this, believers may support and comfort themselves when they, due to detecting so much deficiency within themselves, are concerned as to whether or not they are upright. Nevertheless, they must humble themselves over their eficiencies and transgressions. 

-----

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 18:55 -- john_hendryx

An Encouragement to be Valiant in a Time of Persecution and Martyrdom

by Wilhelmus à Brakel

My beloved brothers, from whom the luster of glory emanates, permit me to encourage you to be valiant and steadfast. If you are not in need of such encouragement, being sustained by the Spirit of liberty Himself, having striven valiantly until now, it is nevertheless my duty and inclination to share with you what the Lord has granted me. Permit me therefore to show my love to you, so that I may hear in the Day of Judgment, ― "I was in prison, and ye came unto Me." (Matt 25:36)

Tue, 12/22/2020 - 17:50 -- john_hendryx

Luther on Antinomianism

“My friends, the Antinomians preach exceedingly well  —and I cannot but believe that they do so with great earnestness—  concerning the mercy of Christ, forgiveness of sin, and other contents of the article of redemption. 

But they flee from this inference as from the devil, that they must tell the people about the Third Article, of sanctification, that is, of the new life in Christ. 

For they hold that we must not terrify people and make them sorrowful, but must always preach to them the comfort of grace in Christ and the forgiveness of sin. They tell us to avoid, for God’s sake, such statements as these: 

‘Listen, you want to be a Christian while you are an adulterer, a fornicator, a swill-belly, full of pride, avarice, usurious practices, envy, revenge, malice, etc., and mean to continue in these sins?’ On the contrary, they tell us that this is the proper way to speak: ‘Listen, you are an adulterer, fornicator, miser, or addicted to some other sin. Now, if you will only believe, you are saved and need not dread the Law, for Christ has fulfilled all.’ 

Tell me, pray-thee, does not this amount to conceding the premise and denying the conclusion? Verily, it amounts to this, that Christ is taken away and made worthless in the same breath with which He is most highly extolled. It means to say yes and no in the same matter. For a Christ who died for sinners who, after receiving forgiveness, will not quit their sin nor lead a new life, is worthless and does not exist. 

According to the logic of Nestorius and Eutyches these people, in masterful fashion, preach a Christ who is, and is not, the Redeemer. They are excellent preachers of the Easter truth, but miserable preachers of the truth of Pentecost. For there is nothing in their preaching concerning sanctification of the Holy Ghost and about being quickened into a new life. 

Sat, 10/31/2020 - 15:22 -- john_hendryx

Rethinking Regeneration (5-Part MP3 Series)

Dr. John Snyder is the pastor of Christ Church New Albany and author of the Behold Your God study series from Media Gratiae. In this weekly podcast, he discusses the realities of God and how we are to worship, learn, and live in light of who God is.

Puritans and Revival: Rethinking Regeneration (MP3)
How God uses the proper knowledge of Himself in a sinner, regeneration.

Puritans and Revival: Pattern of Regeneration (MP3)
Both the Puritans and leaders of the Great Awakening spent a great deal of time surveying Scripture for and meditating on God's work in regeneration. Their experiences led them to observe and acknowledge some patterns God typically used in bringing sinner to faith and repentance. This week John and Teddy begin discussing these observable patterns.

Puritans and Revival: Defining Regeneration (MP3)
As we continue our series on the influence of the Puritans on the Great Awakening (US) and the Evangelical Revival (UK), we’re focusing on the importance of regeneration. This week, we’re looking at its definition.

Puritans and Revival: God’s Work in Regeneration (MP3)
As we continue our series on the influence of the Puritans on the Great Awakening (US) and the Evangelical Revival (UK), we’re looking more closely at the doctrine of regeneration.

Tue, 10/27/2020 - 13:52 -- john_hendryx

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