Thursday, May 27, 2010

$25 OFF at Vision Forum

Good through June 1st:    $25 off coupon when you spend $75+

Friday, May 21, 2010

Around the Web and Blogosphere (5/21/10)

If you like Bluegrass check out the Wintons, actually even if you are not a fan of bluegrass check them out. You can listen to their music here. You can also buy a download of the music at BlueBehemoth. They were just interviewed by Kevin Swanson: Music Genres Capable of Integrating the Generations. Here is their Purpose Statement:

"It is our desire to faithfully proclaim the Gospel in word and deed. At the same time, we want to perform a concert in a professional manner using both gospel bluegrass and family-friendly traditional bluegrass music which portrays a family that is seeking to glorify the Lord. While we want our concerts to be entertaining, we have determined that we are not a family that exists for entertainment purposes, but a family that desires to communicate to others the love of God and His active work in our lives as well as His desire to work faithfully in the lives of others. During our concerts we plan to communicate the saving grace of Jesus Christ, the blessing of families ministering together, the purpose of having a family vision, the fruitfulness of multi-generational faithfulness, and the goal of living separate and deliberate lives for the Lord. We also hope to share about the blessings of adoption, both in a natural and spiritual sense."

Devon Maddox at The Salt Room writes on: Sovereign Church Growth. He has a great quote by David Wells from his book The Courage to be Protestant:

“The truth is that there is nothing in our postmodern world that is a serious threat, or an insurmountable obstacle, to the will of God. This is true of his saving will as well. He is sovereign in the way he begets faith today as he is over the sparrow that flies or falls. He will grow the church. Today, we no longer seem to believe this, and want to aid his cause by our weak and foolish capitulations.”

How true this is as the church today seeks after all but God for growth. Actually, the whole idea of “growth” is often an issue as well. Of course the professing church today would not admit to this lack of trust but actions often speak louder than words and those actions say the church today does not trust God to grow His church. Personally I think this problem stems from a faulty view of God’s sovereignty; a view that places God as being restrained by our desires and will and not the other way around.

At Lane’s Blog there is a post: Election as Taught in the Bible. This post lists some of the Scriptural evidence for the doctrine of election. Also below is a video that is posted along with this list.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Around the Web and Blogosphere (5/12/10)

R.C. Sproul Jr. posts on: What Is Reconstructionism? What Is Theonomy? In many circles, even reformed ones, the mention of “theonomy” or “reconstructionism” raises a myriad of objections but I have found that most of these come from a misconception of what it is. As R.C. states, and others before him have stated: ““Autonomy or theonomy!”……We will either have man’s law, or God’s law and only a fool would choose man over God.”

How far are we in the US from this: It’s Getting Dangerous Out There — A Preacher Is Arrested in Britain. Are pastors, and laymen for that matter, in the US ready to preach the truth, all of it, in the face of prison? If we do not do so now in the face of not much more than ridicule how we will do it when true persecution looms.

At the NCFIC website there is a good message from Jeff Pollard called: The Trap of Family Idolatry. Those that think the NCFIC worships the family should listen to this message as Jeff Pollard deals with what he calls “Familyolatry” and how to avoid it.

Steve Camp writes on: TREASURING THE TREASURE OF GOD'S WORD...the infallible divine plumbline for all matters of life and godliness. He deals with preaching out of the word of God rather than simply out of ones good thoughts and opinions, no matter how correct they may be.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Grace & Genesis 38

Last Lord’s Day (4/24) I preached through Genesis 38. It is one of those passages that can be uncomfortable as it shows man in all his sin. The passage looks at the life of Judah while Joseph was off in Egypt. As one person I read commented, this is sort of a “meanwhile back at the ranch” passage. Telling of what Judah, the one the line of Christ was to come through, was doing while his brother was enslaved in Egypt.

As I studied the passage I wondered how to deal with the sin of Er, Onan and Judah. How do I deal with this, especially with small children present, so as to be above all faithful to the text but also sensitive to those hearing the text? The more I read the passage the more it became clear that the sins of Judah and Onan are reveled as they are to show the grace of God. The sins do not have to be excessively expounded on as they stand by themselves and thus simply need to be read as presented in the text. What needs to be emphasized in this chapter is the grace of God. The revelation of the grace of God to use a man such as Judah, and for that matter Tamar, to bring about the one to crush the head of the serpent (Gen 3:15) is striking.

If you were to simply read Genesis with no understanding of what was to come you would think that Joseph was the one the line of Christ was to flow through. Is not Joseph a picture of Christ? Is not he the one that is pictured as more righteous? But no, God works through the imperfect to bring about the perfect. God works not as man but as God to do what most glorifies Him. We should not be surprised by this with all that we see in Genesis up to Chapter 38, but we usually are. So grace is a major part of Chapter 38.

Moses is writing this to the Hebrews preparing to cross the Jordon back into the Promised Land after 40 years in the wilderness. He is telling them not to be proud as if who they were was why God worked through them. Moses is showing how their heritage is one of sin but that it was God’s choice to work through them thus they had no reason to boast or pat themselves on the back. This is much as we should feel when we realize there is nothing in us that requires God to choose us. While I have heard many claim that the Doctrines of Grace can lead to pride, that is false. If pride comes out of your understanding of election you have misunderstood it. What should come out of a correct understanding of God’s calling is humility as we should clearly see we have nothing to boast about.

If we are truthful with ourselves our lives are much more closely aligned with that of Judah than Joseph and thus as with Judah it is only by grace God would call us to Himself. If you are truly one of God’s children you have been chosen by His grace not your merit and thus cannot boast (Eph 2:8-9).

This is not an excuse to live as Judah and simply expect God’s grace as the passage has a second feature and that is one of contrast. The contrast between the life of Judah and that of Joseph. Thus we are to see the grace of God to call us as we live as Judah. As well as to see our call to live, by God’s power, as Joseph.

So the sin that is portrayed in this passage is used to accentuate God’s grace. A grace seen from the beginning to the end of His word. There is not more grace in the Older Testament than in the Newer. It is all of grace that God would work though any of us. Let us truly understand that and seek to live, again by His power, in a way that most glorifies Him, as is laid out in His word.

If you would like to listen to last weeks sermon you can hear it here.