Posted by: reiterations | September 20, 2014

The Preacher’s Responsibility to be Dogmatic

The old charge that has so often been brought up against the church and her preachers is that we are dogmatic.  But the preacher who is not dogmatic is not a preacher in the New Testament sense.  We should be modest about our own opinions and careful as to how we voice our own speculations.  But here, thank God, we are not in such a realm.  We are not concerned about such things.  We do not put forward a theory that commends itself to us as a possible explanation of the world and what we can do about it.  The whole basis of the New Testament is that here is an “announcement,” a “proclamation” – those are New Testament words.D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981)

Posted by: reiterations | September 19, 2014

On Good Works

Sanctification manifests itself in good works which, according to the Heidelberg Catechism, arise from the principle of a true faith, conform to the law of God, and are done for His glory.  They are, therefore, distinct from the virtues of the pagans and the virtues of all who do not have such saving faith.  The Reformed have always fully acknowledged the existence and moral value of such virtues.  Since, after the Fall, people have remained human and continue to share in the blessings of God’s common grace, they can inwardly possess many virtues and outwardly do many good deeds that, viewed through human eyes and measured by human standards, are greatly to be appreciated and of great value for human life.  But this is not to say that they are good in the eyes of God and correspond to the full spiritual sense of His holy law.  To the degree that human beings subject their own thoughts, attitudes, and actions to more precise scrutiny, they are all the more deeply convinced of their sinfulness.  Not only Scripture teaches this, but the experience of all ages and the observation of all good judges of human character confirm this witness.

From: Reformed Dogmatics: Volume 4: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation by Herman Bavinck; translated from the Dutch by John Vriend (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008), pp. 256-257.  The quotation is taken from the 2nd Dutch edition (1911).

Posted by: reiterations | September 18, 2014

A Meritorious Righteousness

It is a meritorious righteousness.  The redemption of the soul is so precious that it would have ceased forever unless it had been redeemed by this righteousness, for silver and gold, and such corruptible things, could never do it.  Lay heaven, and all the glories thereof, in the balance with this righteousness, and they would be all light as a feather compared with it.  Heaven is called a purchased inheritance and this righteousness is the price that bought it.  There is such merit in it that it expiates sins of the blackest hue and redeems a whole elect world from wrath and ruin.  Yes, such is the intrinsic value of it that, had it been so designed, it was sufficient to have redeemed the whole posterity of Adam – yes, ten thousand worlds of angels and men upon a supposition of their existence and fall.  O, with what confidence, then, may a poor soul venture its eternal salvation upon this bottom!

From: “The Believer Exalted in Imputed Righteousness,” a sermon on Psalm 89.16, in The Whole Works of the Late Rev. Ebenezer Erskine, Minister of the Gospel at Stirling, Consisting of Sermons and Discourses on the Most Important and Interesting Subjects edited by James Fisher; 3 volumes (Edinburgh: Ogle & Murray, William Oliphant & Co., Oliver & Boyd, 1871), 1.100.  Originally published in 1761.

Ebenezer Erskine (1680-1754) was a well-known Scottish minister.

Posted by: reiterations | September 17, 2014

The Essence of Parental Love

The essence of parental love is recognizing that we are the dispensers of God’s grace into our children’s lives.  They learn to identify and reverence God’s character through the way we treat them, both in moments of profound pride and in times of intense disappointment.Bryan Chapell

Posted by: reiterations | September 16, 2014

On Courage

Courage is not from nature, but from grace.  It is a gift of God.  It is He who gives strength and power to His people – not bodily strength only, but spiritual strength.  It is He who girds them with strength, with a holy fortitude, and who fills them with spiritual courage and strengthens their hearts and fortifies them against their spiritual enemies.John Gill (1697-1771)

Posted by: reiterations | September 15, 2014

Satanic Distractions

Do not think that God is angry with you for these distracting, though ever so blasphemous thoughts.  No, He knows it is not you, but Satan working in you.  Therefore, notwithstanding He may be displeased with and will certainly punish him, yet He will both pity and reward you.  And, though it be difficult to make persons in your circumstances to believe so, yet I doubt not but you are more acceptable to God when performing your holy duties in the midst of such involuntary distractions than when you are wrapped up by devotion into the third heaven, for you are then suffering as well as doing the will of God at the same time.  Be not driven from the use of any ordinance whatsoever on account of those abominable suggestions, for then you let Satan get his desired advantage over you.George Whitefield (1714-1770)

Posted by: reiterations | September 14, 2014

For the Lord’s Day (346)

In appearance, the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold, their faces were human faces, their hair like women’s hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth.  They had breastplates like breastplates of iron and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle.  They have tails and stings, like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails.  They have, as king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit.  His name, in Hebrew, is “Abaddon,” and, in Greek, he is called “Apollyon.”  (Revelation 9.7-11)

Posted by: reiterations | September 13, 2014

Cain’s Failure

Cain, in killing Abel, stabbed half the world at one blow.  Yet he could not kill the worm of his own conscience.Thomas Watson (1620-1686)

From: The Great Gain of Godliness: Practical Notes on Malachi 3.16-18 by Thomas Watson; “Puritan Paperbacks” series (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2006), p. 38.  Originally published in 1682 under the title Religion Our True Interest, or, Practical Notes Upon the Third Chapter of Malachy, the Sixteen, Seventeen, and Eighteen Verses.

Posted by: reiterations | September 12, 2014

On Dealing with Rebellious Children

The prodigal father was so lavishly compassionate in his love that he was willing to suffer any humiliation to restore his long-lost son.  So many parents do the exact opposite – even Christian parents.  When their children start going off in the wrong direction, they speak to them with scorn and treat them with shame.  Instead of humbling themselves, they humiliate their children, even to their own destruction.  But here [in the story of the prodigal son], Jesus gives fathers and mothers a better model to follow.Philip Graham Ryken (born in 1966)

Posted by: reiterations | September 11, 2014

Training a Child for Heaven

A true Christian must be no slave to fashion if he would train his child for heaven.  He must not be content to do things merely because they are the custom of the world: to teach them and instruct them in certain ways merely because it is usual, to allow them to read books of a questionable sort merely because everybody else reads them, to let them form habits of a doubtful tendency merely because they are the habits of the day.  He must train with an eye to his children’s souls.  He must not be ashamed to hear his training called singular and strange.  What if it is?  The time is short.  The fashion of this world is passing away.  He who has trained his children for heaven rather than for earth – for God rather than for man – is the parent who will be called wise, in the end.J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

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