Monday, September 29, 2008

The Free Offer AND the Emotivity of God

This sermon touches on two of the issues I have blogged on recently.

Bob Gonzales, an elder at the Covenant Reformed Baptist Church of Easley, SC, provides an excellent lesson on The Free Offer of the Gospel: Does God Desire the Salvation of All Men? Yes. He also includes some helpful practical implications of this belief. The main implication is that we reflect the heart of God by earnestly desiring to see those we speak with to be saved. Gonzales notes that certainly we are not to presume that everyone is elect, but we are to certainly WISH that they all were elect!

And I love the D. A. Carson quote he uses: "It is no answer to espouse a form of impassibility that denies that God has an emotional life and that insists that all of the biblical evidence to the contrary is nothing more than anthropopathism. The price is too heavy. You may then rest in God’s sovereignty, but you can no longer rejoice in his love. You may rejoice only in a linguistic expression that is an accommodation of some reality of which we cannot conceive, couched in the anthropopathism of love. Give me a break. Paul did not pray that his readers might be able to grasp the height and length and breadth and depth of an anthropopathism and to know the anthropopathism that surpasses knowledge (Eph. 3:14-21)."

(Found in The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God

To those in #pros: Yes, he left out "your children" when he quoted Matthew 23:37, but it isn't as if he did so to change the meaning of the text! I think that there is reason to believe the text is soteriological but talking about the revealed will of God rather than the decretive will of God.

Here is a sermon on the parallel in Luke: Pleading for Jerusalem- Jim Savastio

I agree with this quote Gonzales uses from Spurgeon: "My love of consistency with my own doctrinal views is not great enough to allow me knowingly to alter a single text of Scripture. I have great respect for orthodoxy, but my reverence for inspiration is far greater. I would sooner a hundred times over appear to be inconsistent with myself than be inconsistent with the word of God. I never thought it to be any very great crime to seem to be inconsistent with myself; for who am I that I should everlastingly be consistent? But I do think it a great crime to be so inconsistent with the word of God that I should want to lop away a bough or even a twig from so much as a single tree of the forest of Scripture. God forbid that I should cut or shape, even in the least degree, any divine expression."

Salvation By Knowing the Truth

Sunday, September 28, 2008


O Christ,
All thy ways of mercy tend to and end in my delight.
Thou didst weep, sorrow, suffer that I might rejoice.
For my joy thou hast sent the Comforter,
multiplied thy promises,
shown me my future happiness,
given me a living fountain.

Thou art preparing joy for me and me for joy;
I pray for joy, wait for joy, long for joy;;
give me more than I can hold, desire, or think of.
Measure out to me my times and degrees of joy,
at my work, business, duties.
If I weep at night, give me joy in the morning.
Let me rest in the thought of thy love,
pardon for sin, my title to heaven,
my future unspotted state.

I am unworthy recipient of thy grace.
I often disesteem thy blood and slight thy love,
but can in repentance draw water
from the wells of thy joyous forgiveness.
Let my heart leap towards the eternal sabbath,
where the work of redemption, sanctification,
preservation, glorification
is finished and perfected for ever,
where thou wilt rejoice over me with joy.

There is no joy like the joy of heaven,
for in that state are no sad divisions, unchristian quarrels,
contentions, evil designs, weariness, hunger, cold,
sadness, sin, suffering, persecutions, toils of duty.
O healthful place where none are sick!
O happy land where all are kings!
O holy assembly where all are priests!
How free a state where none are servants except to Thee!
Bring me speedily to the land of joy.

Arthur Bennett, ed. Valley of Vision (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), 162.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Andrew Fuller Conference: Benjamin Keach's Doctrine of Justification- Tom Hicks

Neonomian controversy- was much like the New Perspective on Paul

(Sadly, it became apparent in the Q&A period that one of the presenters who was attending was a New Perspectivist. A VERY interesting conversation ensued after between him, Tom Nettles, my newly-found friend Jade, and myself. I wish I could have recorded it. His arguments were scary but also easily answered by Scripture. Especially when he said things that were complete opposites of specific verses in Romans 4. His statement that he couldn't see the Gospel in Genesis was more than a little disturbing too. And yes his comment of "whoever wrote Genesis" was ignored, simply because we didn't want to get too far off topic.)

Keach said that justification by faith alone is necessary for humbling sinners, comforting saints, and glorifying God

gave sermons on Romans 4-5 to answer neonomians
- all works (both legal and Gospel) are excluded from justification
- justification is by the free grace of God
- neonomianism is the opposite of the Gospel because it lowers the standard of obedience while saying our obedience to this easier law justifies us before God
- based on this error, neonomianism denies the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the believer
- Keach said, "We do not tell you be holy and then believe in Jesus Christ but believe in Jesus Christ and you will be holy"

justification by faith alone is founded in the covenant of grace
- just as the covenant of grace comforted David on his deathbed, so it does with every believer
- the covenant of grace is the covenant of redemption
- two distinct parts of one covenant: covenant with Christ, covenant with the elect
- it is a covenant of works with Christ but a covenant of grace with the elect

justification by faith alone glorifies the Trinity
- God sends Christ in accordance with His plan
- Christ secures redemption
- the Spirit draws and empowers the saints

justification by faith alone upholds God's holiness
- the law is never watered down, it is eternal
- God decree and character are fixed

justification by faith alone motivates godly living
- God is not capable of approving evil or condemning good because He is intrinsically holy and pure

Christ's sacrifice merited representative justification for the elect, but this righteousness is imputed in time when men grasp it by faith

the believer loves and obeys Christ because of free grace, not for it

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Phil Johnson on the Nature of the Atonement

Modern Calvinist circles seem to be filled with guys who insist that Christ’s death had no benefit whatsoever for anyone other than the elect and God’s only desire with regard to the reprobate is to damn them period. Too many Calvinists embrace the doctrine of limited atonement, they finally see the truth of it but then they think, “Oh that’s that.” Christ died for the elect and in no sense are their any universal benefits in the atonement, so the atonement is limited to the elect in every sense and it has no relevance whatsoever to the non-elect. I think that’s an extreme position and it’s not supported by many of the classic Calvinist theologians and writers if you read carefully what Calvinists have said throughout history. I want to encourage you read Andrew Fuller and Thomas Boston. Read what people like Robert L. Dabney and William G. T. Shedd and B. B. Warfield and Charles Hodge wrote on the subject of the atonement. Read John Owen too, but don’t imagine that John Owens’s book The Death of Death in the Death of Christ represents the only strain of Calvinist thought on the issue. It doesn’t. In fact, far from it.

If you begin to study this issue in depth you will quickly discover that the classic Calvinist view on the extent of the atonement is a lot less narrow and a lot less cut and dried than the typical seminary student Calvinist on the Internet wants to admit. Historic Calvinism, as a movement has usually acknowledged that there are universal aspects of the atonement. Calvin himself had a view of the extent of the atonement that was far more broad and, and far more extensive than the average Calvinist today would care to recognize. And I’ll show you some of that if time allows.


I would argue that if the atonement Christ offered is substitutionary, then it had to be of infinite value for two reasons:

1. One, in the words of the Synod of Dordt, “because the person who submitted to the punishment on our behalf was not only really man and perfectly holy but also the only begotten Son of God, the same eternal, and infinite essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit.” In other words, the person who died on the cross was infinite in His glory and His goodness and therefore it was an infinite sacrifice. That’s the first reason.

2. Second, the price of each person’s sin is infinite wrath. And if the price of atonement is infinite than the atonement itself in order to be accepted had to be of infinite value. In other words, if you had to suffer the price of your own sins you would spend eternity in hell and still you would not exhaust the infinite displeasure of God against sin. There’s an infinite punishment for sin. And that infinite wrath is the very thing Christ bore on the cross. So if Christ’s death was not sufficient to atone for all, then it wasn’t sufficient to atone for even one. Because atonement for sin even for one person demands an infinite price. Now again the overwhelming majority of Calvinists would agree with that. That is exactly what the canons of the Synod of Dordt say. That is mainstream historic Calvinism.

So the real debate between Calvinists and Arminians is not about the sufficiency of the atonement. The real issue under debate is the design and the application of the atonement. And the question we are asking is not merely, for whom did Christ die? The real question is for whom did God ordain the atonement? In other words, the real issue in the extent of the atonement debate comes down to the very same issue as election itself. Did God purpose to save specific people or was He trying indiscriminately to save as many people as possible? What was His intent? What was His design? And if you accept the truth of election I can’t understand why you would balk at the truth that the atonement had specific people in view. So that’s the real question not was Christ’s death sufficient to save all but what was the design and the goal of the atonement? What did God intend to do through it? Did He intend to save specific people through Christ’s work on the cross? And if you answer that question, yes, you’ve affirmed the principle behind the Calvinistic position.

Here’s an even more important question. Will all of God’s purposes for sending Christ to die ultimately be accomplished? Did God intend something by the atonement that will not come to pass? Is there any purpose in Christ’s dying that will ultimately be frustrated? And if you ask those questions it puts the importance of the whole issue in a totally different, clearer light. And I believe that Christ’s atoning work on the cross ultimately accomplishes precisely what God designed it to accomplish, no more no less. If you believe God is truly sovereign you must ultimately come to that position. The fruits of the atonement are no less than what God sovereignly intended. God is not going to be frustrated throughout all eternity because He was desperately trying to save some people who just could not be persuaded. If that’s your view of God than your God isn’t really sovereign. Pharaoh fulfilled exactly the purpose God raised him up to fulfill. God is not wringing His hands in despair over Pharaoh’s rebellion and unbelief.

But on the other hand, Christ’s atoning work accomplishes no more than God intended it to accomplish. If benefits accrue to non-believers, reprobate people, because of Christ’s death, than it is because God designed it that way. If Christ’s dying means that the whole, the judgment of the whole world is postponed, than unregenerate people reap the blessings and the benefits of that delay. They reap the benefits and the blessings of common grace through the atonement. And if that’s the case than that is exactly what God designed. It didn’t happen by accident. And for that very reason it is my position and the position of most Calvinists throughout history that some benefits of the atonement are universal and some benefits of the atonement are particular and limited to the elect alone.


So, to sum up, unbelievers receive a number of benefits from the atonement: Delayed judgment, All the blessings of common grace, The free offer of salvation through the Gospel. Those are universal effects of Christ’s atoning work and that is why Charles Hodge, the great Calvinist theologian said this, “There is a sense therefore in which Christ died for all. And there is a sense in which He died only for the elect.” Curt Daniel suggests that Calvinists ought to say, not that Christ died only for the elect but rather that He died especially for the elect. I agree and I think we would all prefer the words of 1 Timothy 4:10, “He is the Savior of all men, specially of them that believe.”

read more of this great article here!

Spurgeon on 2 Cor. 5:20

NOTE: Yes I know that Spurgeon believed in particular redemption. But he certainly, if I am understanding him correctly, believed in the old phrase "sufficient for all, efficient for the elect"

So now, gathering all up, I have to close with the second part of the text, which is not teaching, but the application of teaching,—A GREAT ARGUMENT. "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."

Oh, that these lips had language, or that this heart could speak without them! Then would I plead with every unconverted, unbelieving soul within this place, and plead as for my life. Friend, you are at enmity with God, and God is angry with you; but on his part there is every readiness for reconciliation. He has made a way by which you can become his friend—a very costly way to himself, but free to you. He could not give up his justice, and so destroy the honour of his own character; but he did give up his Son, his Only Begotten, and his Well-Beloved; and that Son of his had been made sin for us, though he knew no sin. See how God meets you ! See how willing, how anxious he is that there should be reconciliation between you and God to-day it is not from want of kindness on his part; it is from want of willingness on yours. The burden of your ruin must lie at your own door: your blood must be on your own skirts.

Now observe what we have to say to you to-day is this: we are anxious that you should be at peace with God, and therefore we act as ambassadors for Christ. I am not going to lay any stress upon the office of ambassador as honourable or authoritative, for I do not feel that this would have weight with you: but I lay all the stress upon the peace to which we would fain have you reconciled also. I once knew him not, neither did I care for him. I lived well enough without him, and sported with trifles of a day, so as to forget him. He brought me to seek his face, and seeking his face I found him. He has blotted out my sins and removed my enmity. I know that I am his servant, and that he is my friend, my Father, my All. And now I cannot help trying in my poor way to be an ambassador for him with you. I do not like that any of you should live at enmity with my Father who made you; and that you should be wantonly provoking him by preferring evil to good. Why should you not be at peace with one who so much wants to be at peace with you? Why should you not love the God of love, and delight in him who is so kind to you? What he hath done for me he is quite willing to do for you: he is a God ready to pardon. I have preached his gospel now for many years, but I never met with a sinner yet that Christ refused to cleanse when he came to him. I never knew a single case of a man who trusted Jesus, and asked to be forgiven, confessing his sin and forsaking it, who was cast out. I say I never met with one man whom he has restored to purity, and drunkards whom he has delivered from their evil habit, and with men guilty of foul sins who have become pure and chaste through the Lord Jesus. They have always told me the same story—"I sought the Lord, and he heard me; he hath washed me in his blood, and I am whiter than snow." Why should you not be saved as well as these?

Dear friend, perhaps you have never thought of this matter, and this morning you did not some here with any idea of thinking of it; but why should you not begin? You came just to hear a well-known preacher; I pray you forget the preacher, and think only of yourself, your God and your Saviour. It must be wrong for you to live without a thought of your Maker. To forget him is to despise him. It must be wrong for you to refuse the great atonement: you so refuse it if you do not accept it at once. It must be wrong for you to stand out against your God; and you do stand out against him if you will not be reconciled to him. Therefore I humbly play the part of an ambassador for Christ, and I beseech you believe in him and live.

Notice how the text puts it: "We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us." This thought staggers me. As I came along this morning I felt as if I could bury my head in my hands and weep as I thought of God beseeching anybody. He speaks, and it is done; myriads of angels count themselves happy to fly at his command; and yet man has so become God's enemy that he will not be reconciled to him. God would make him his friend, and spends the blood of his dear Son to cement that friendship; but man will not have it. See the great God turns to beseeching his obstinate creature! his foolish creature! In this I feel a reverent compassion for God. Must he beseech a rebel to be forgiven? Do you hear it? Angels, do you hear it? He who is the King of kings veils his sovereignty, and stoops to beseeching his creature to be reconciled to him! I wonder not that some of my brethen start back from such an idea, and cannot believe that it could be so: it seems so derogatory to the glorious God. Yet my text saith it, and it must be true—"As though God did beseech you by us." This makes it awful work to preach, does it not? I ought to beseech you as though God spoke to you through me, looking at you through these eyes, and stretching out his hands through these hands. He saith, "All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people." He speaks softly, and tenderly, and with paternal affection through these poor lips of mine, "as though God did beseech you by us.

Furthermore notice that next line, which if possible has even more force in it: "We pray you in Christ's stead." Since Jesus died in our stead we, his redeemed ones, are to pray others in his stead; and as he poured out his heart for sinners in their stead, we must in another way pour out our hearts for sinners in his stead. "We pray you in Christ's stead." Now if my Lord were here this morning how would he pray you to come to him? I wish, my Master, I were more fit to stand in thy place at this time. Forgive me that I am so incapable. Help me to break my heart, to think that it does not break as it ought to do, for these men and women who are determined to destroy themselves, and, therefore, pass thee by, my Lord, as though thou were but a common felon, hanging on a gibbet! O men, How can you think so little of the death of the Son of God? It is the wonder of time, the admiration of eternity. O souls, why will you refuse eternal life? Why will ye die? Why will ye despise him by whom alone you can live? There is one gate of life, that gate is the open side of Christ; why will ye not enter, and live? "Come unto me," saith he; "Come unto me." I think I hear him say it: "Come unto me all that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." I think I see him on that last day, the great day of the feast, standing and crying, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink." I hear him sweetly declare, "Him that cometh to me I will no wise cast out." I am not fit to pray you in Christ's stead, but I do pray you with all my heart. You that hear my voice from Sunday to Sunday, do come and accept the great sacrifice, and be reconciled to God. You that hear me but this once, I would like you to go away with this ringing in your ears, "Be ye reconciled to God." I have nothing pretty to say to you; I have only to declare that God has prepared a propitiation, and that now he entreats sinners to come to Jesus, that through him they may be reconciled to God.

We do not exhort you to some impossible effort. We do not bid you do some great thing; we do not ask you for money or price; neither do we demand of you years of miserable feeling; but only this—be ye reconciled. It is not so much reconcile yourselves as "be reconciled." Yield yourselves to him who round you now the bands of a man would cast, drawing you with cords of love because he was given for you. His spirit strives with you, yield to his striving. With Jacob you know there wrestled a man till the breaking of the day; let that man, that God-man, overcome you. Submit yourselves. Yield to grasp of those hands which were nailed to the cross for you. Will you not yield to your best friend? He that doth embrace you now presses you to a heart that was pierced with the spear on your behalf. Oh, yield thee! Yield thee, man! Dost thou not feel some softness stealing over thee? Steel not thine heart against it. He saith, with a tone most still and sweet. "To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." Believe and live! Quit the arch-enemy who has held thee in his grip. Escape for thy life, look not behind thee, stay not in all the plain, but flee where thou seest the open door of the great Father's house. At the gate the bleeding Saviour is waiting to receive thee, and to say, "I was made sin for thee, and thou art made the righteousness of God in me." Father, draw them! Father, draw them! Eternal Spirit, draw them, for Jesus Christ thy Son's sake! Amen.

The Heart of the Gospel

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thawing Out the Frozen Chosen

NOTE: I was going to post this before Phil Johnson's excellent recent post on the love of God, so this isn't in response to his comment in the combox about impassibility. But, as cool as Phil is, I must disagree with him on this one issue. Maybe he will listen and change his mind :-)

I'd been meaning to post these for awhile...

The first deals with God's emotivity and what it means for us. The second focuses on the place of the emotions in conversion, witnessing, worship, and sanctification.

The Emotivity of God= James Williamson

The Place of the Affections= Jim Savastio

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

God is sovereign, and yet man is responsible and not to be passive!

Repent and Be Converted!- Jim Savastio

Pressing into the Kingdom- Jim Savastio

Striving to Enter at the Narrow Gate- Jim Savastio

I think all vestiges of hyper-Calvinism are now bled from my body...and I am thankful my pastor preaches the text and is not afraid to tell plead with! the unconverted to obey the Gospel and repent and believe!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Christ the Word

My Father,
In a world of created changeable things,
Christ and his Word alone remain unshaken.
O to forsake all creatures,
to rest as a stone on him the foundation,
to abide in him, be borne up by him!
For all my mercies come through Christ,
who has designed, purchased, promised, effected them.
How sweet it is to be near him, the Lamb,
filled with holy affections!
When I sin against thee I cross thy will, love, life,
and have no comforter, no creature, to go to.
My sin is not so much this or that particular evil,
but my continual separation, disunion, distance from thee,
and having a loose spirit towards thee.
But thou hast given me a present, Jesus thy Son,
as Mediator between thyself and my soul,
as middle-man who in a pit
holds both him below and him above,
for only he can span the chasm breached by sin,
and satisfy divine justice.
May I always lay hold upon this mediator,
as a realized object of faith,
and alone worthy by his love to bridge the gulf.
Let me know that he is dear to me by his Word;
I am one with him by the Word on his part,
and by faith on mine;
If I oppose the Word, I oppose my Lord when he is most near;
If I receive the Word I receive my Lord wherein he is nigh.
O thou has hast the hearts of all men in thine hand,
form my heart according to the Word,
according to the image of thy Son,
So shall Christ the Word, and his Word be my strength and comfort.

Arthur Bennett, ed. Valley of Vision (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), 17.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tetherball in the Laundry Room

I am marveling at the goodness and grace of God as I write this. A few hours ago, I started this blog post after listening to the first of these three sermons by my pastor on the central theme of the Bible and the Christian life-- that is, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

I had to take a break to do some laundry, and it turns out that God had something more in mind. I ran across Chris, a man who lives in my building who is unconverted. I had gotten to speak to him several times before, but this evening I especially felt the presence and aid of the Spirit as I spoke to him. Chris is one of those who thinks he is a "good person" who "tries hard," and that this is what he says he will say when he appears before God. Pray he would stop comparing himself with other people and compare himself against God's holiness! And pray that he will see the beauty of Christ and His righteousness and Person!

One interesting thing that happened was when he asked about why there was so much evil in the world if there really was a good God. I replied that the question we really should be asking is why a holy and just God is so patient and cares for any of us at all. Why do good things happen to bad people? He said he never thought about it that way before. He also asked how it was fair that the thief on the cross got forgiven of his sins, since God has to punish sin. I said that the thief's sins were the death of Christ on the cross! All sin will be punished. The question is, how will they be paid for? By us in hell or by Christ on the cross? Chris fell silent for a moment and then had to leave, and I urged him to think about all we had talked about. I gave him a Bible earlier, so pray he reads it and that Christ opens his understanding!

The tetherball reference is an illustration my pastor used for the centrality of the Gospel in the Christian life. Basically, we never get more than 4 feet or so from the Gospel. Just as the goal of the game is to wrap the ball around the post as close as possible, so too we must keep the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus the center of the church, our witness, and our daily lives. Granted sometimes the ball will be wrapped around the post tighter than others, but you get the picture. Although Chris tried a few times to unwrap that ball from around the post, by the grace of God I was able to bring it back to Christ and Him crucified.

The Heart of Christianity (Part 1)
The Heart of Christianity (Part 2)
The Heart of Christianity (Part 3)

Jesus, keep me near the cross;
There a precious fountain,
Free to all—a healing stream—
Flows from Calvary's mountain.

In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Shed its beams around me.

In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadow o'er me.

In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

Near the cross I'll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand
Just beyond the river.

In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

- Fanny Crosby

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Calvary's Anthem

Heavenly Father,
Thou hast led me singing to the cross,
where I fling down all my burdens and see them vanish,
where my mountains of guilt are levelled to a plain,
where my sins disappear, though they are the greatest that exist,
and are more in number than the grains of fine sand;

For there is power in the blood of Calvary
to destroy sins more than can be counted
even by one from the choir of heaven.
Thou hast given me a hill-side spring
that washes clear and white,
and I go as a sinner to its waters,
bathing without hindrance in its crystal streams.
At the cross there is free forgiveness for poor and meek ones,
and ample blessings that last for ever;
The blood of the Lamb is like a great river of infinite grace
with never any diminishing of its fullness
as thirsty ones without number drink of it.

O Lord, for ever will thy free forgiveness live
that was gained on the mount of blood;
In the midst of a world of pain
it is a subject of praise in every place,
q song on earth, an anthem in heaven,
its love and virtue knowing no end.
I have a longing for the world above
where multitudes sing the great song,
for my soul was never created to love the dust of earth.
Though here my spiritual state is frail and poor,
I shall go on singing Calvary's anthem.
May I always know
that a clean heart full of goodness
is more beautiful than the lily,
that only a clean heart can sing by night and by day,
that such a heart is mine when I abide at Calvary.

Arthur Bennett, ed. Valley of Vision (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), 173.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Andrew Fuller Conference: Benjamin Keach and the Protestant Cause Under Persecution- Austin Walker

- fear of a "Popish plot" led to the persecution of dissenters (1678)
- 1680s- Keach wrote against the persecution of Protestants in the UK and Europe and advocated liberty of conscience
- wrote two poems in which he expresses his grief over the persecution of the church

- the fear of Catholicism must be put into a Reformation/Counter-Reformation context- they remembered Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I, the Irish Catholics, the Rye House Plot, the Monmouth Rebellion
- there was a universal belief that the Pope was the Antichrist and Rome was Babylon
- they saw William and Mary as God's instruments in the overthrow of the Antichrist

believed in freedom of conscience in matters of religion but not in what today is called "religious liberty"
- it was like the fire shut up in Jeremiah's bones
- it was forthright and passionate
- it was grounded in God's truth

- Keach lamented not only over the worldliness of his society but over the "Romish remnants" in the church
- he was also concerned with division in the churches and the lack of Gospel success
- he was a Protestant apologist, so this brought him into many conflicts

- but he was confident that Christ would comfort and keep His church and vindicate His cause and Name
- had a strong trust in Christ's Kingdom being established and in God's providence in all things
- was unquestionably a man of prayer
- he waited on the Lord and soon had cause for rejoicing

- the duty of each Christian is to pray that God will prosper the cause of the church and establish her and do her good as He conforms her to Christ
- we are in need of patience, courage, and perseverance- historians are surprised and enamored by the perseverance of the dissenters

- Keach advocated non-violence but not non-resistance
- Romans 13 tells us to plead with God and patiently wait for God

Hebrews 12:1-4 "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hold the Ropes!

Our brethren from halfway around the world covet our prayers...

Pyromaniacs: Pray for India

Pyromaniacs: Burned Alive: Some Background on the India Violence

HT for the video: Jonathan Christman

Hindi Song Translation: Tera Pyaar He Mahan (Your Love is Great)

Verse 1) your love is great, your love is the world to me, for I used to be dead, but you have put life into me

Verse 2) why then should I not sing you praises Praises, praises, for all you have done for me

Verse 3) My face was distorted and my heart was empty, but you have cleansed them with your blood so that I am now living