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Category Archives: gospel

Hymnaltheology

Whenever we sing hymns or worship songs through corporate worship to our Lord. I often find myself examining the lyrics for gospel content or not-gospel content. Does that make me a

hymnal lyrics curmudgeon? Maybe, or maybe not.I have provided a bit of a contrast in lyrics here. Let’s examine the lyrics to the old hymn “Jesus Paid It All” in reference to the gospel of scripture, and what the gospel is not, “Jesus Paid It Some“, even though we tend to live the way of the former, it is not the gospel.

In John 4:23-24, Jesus is engaging a woman at Jacob’s well in Samaria, and she references the worship her fathers had done on the mountain where they were, and Jesus says to her:

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

I’d like to emphasize the word truth in the context for this posting. You see, we sing many songs of, so called worship, but are they really songs expressing the truth as we know it to be through scripture? Some might think of you as a “curmudgeon” but just remember John 4:24 and go worship in the truth as well as the spirit.

I’ll leave this post with one more real example. What is the object of our affection here?

(Acknowledgements go to Stephen Altrogge for his “not gospel” lyrics.)

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Posted by on August 16, 2016 in gospel, hymns, John 4:24

 

Is a tattooed Jesus the gospel?

This morning I found this article among the many in my daily Feedly posts. After reading it I decided to post it jesus_tattoos_ll_131009_16x9_608here and see if anyone else would consider this to be the gospel message as you know it. Please take the time to read the short article, watch the embedded video in the article, and give me some feedback.

Update: Click on the image of the billboard to the right to be directed to the website and the accompanying video.

I will add my opinion later as I am looking for some honest, thoughtful, unbiased opinions.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in gospel, Jesus Christ, tattooed Jesus, tattoos

 

False Alarm

On 19 October 1856, as Charles Haddon Spurgeon was preaching at the Surrey Gardens Music Hall for the first time. Someone false_alarm in the crowd yelled, “Fire!” The ensuing panic and stampede left several dead. Spurgeon was emotionally devastated by the event and it had a sobering influence on his life.

In “C. H. Spurgeon Autobiography: The Early Years, 1834-1859” it is documented by writings of Spurgeon himself that when the yell for “Fire” went up during that tragic moment at the Surrey Gardens Music Hall, Spurgeon tried to proclaim the truth of the matter. But his booming voice could not be heard over the ensuing chaos, and the crowd began to panic. The truth was; suspected thieves and pick pockets had come into the assembly to try and take advantage of the crowded hall.

After reading about this in the above autobiography, my mind reflected on the following biblical passage in 2 Peter.

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1 ESV)

As redeemed members of Christ’s church, we need to be on watch for those who would take advantage of a situation or their position in the local church. Although their methods may not be as loud as a thief  or pick pocket yelling fire, but as Peter warns in scripture, secretive methods can be just as destructive if not more.

From his vantage point Spurgeon could see the truth that the building was not on fire. In turn we also have a vantage point of the truth. God’s word. The more we read and study God’s word, the more we hone our God given discernment to recognize the falsehoods or the false alarm.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Be ready Christian. Soli Deo Gloria!

 

The Happy, Love, to God’s Glory Cycle

Our local church began doing Community Groups at the beginning of this year. Community Groups is our version of getting together in small groups for a mid-week bible study and fellowship. Through the summer we are using  the John Piper book “Don’t Waste Your Life” as a guide to lead us into a study of what the bible says a fulfilling life should look like. The first couple of chapters have been a little difficult because the content is based on Piper’s own journey of discovery into what a fulfilled life should be and what a wasted life might look like. But this week the spiritual afterburners seemed to have been kicked with chapter 3. The following is an abbreviated version of our past study.

Chapter 3 is titled “Breakthrough – the Beauty of Christ, My Joy.” The accompanying study guide begins with an examination of what people perceive as happiness or the pursuit of it. To that end Piper introduces a quote out of a section of work called “Pensées” written by the French philosopher, mathematician, and Christian apologist, Blaise Pascal. The quote is about happiness:

All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.

The study guide then follows with the thought provoking question: Is it true that all men seek happiness (even those who commit suicide)? Is the pursuit of happiness inevitable? How do you think the Bible regards the pursuit of happiness?

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Would Jesus Have A Facebook Page?

I stumbled on this article by Michael Horton in My Feedly today. I thought it was interesting enough to share. Below are some excerpts from the article. But please click on the links provided, and read the article in it’s entirety. Are we really going down this road as a church?

Technology should ultimately be an enhancement, not a replacement, for gathering in person for worship, discussion, debate and service to others.

You can have a digital Bible in the palm of your hand or connect with others in prayer any time anywhere.

Contrary to the propaganda of the techno-evangelists, the Internet cannot bring people together, bodily, to make them a communion of saints. It can deliver data, even crucial information about God’s Worrd, but it cannot deliver Christ with all of his benefits.

Would Jesus Have A Facebook Page?

 

Displaying Christ from 9 to 5

This past Lord’s Day our local pastor, Mike Rue, exposited on the scriptures found in Ephesians 6:5-9. This section of scripture is usually sub-titled “Slave and Masters” in most bible translations. Culturally we can relate to this section
 of scripture as “Employees and Bosses”. The text provides answers to the following: How, as Christians, do we behave within the confines of our daily grind, (job used in a popular negative term) and relate to our bosses or employees.

Pastor Mike lays out two imperatives from this text: (I know they originally came from the Apostle Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit)

1) Work as if Jesus was your boss.

 Work with sincerity and respect.

2) Treat your employee as if he was Jesus.

Respect and honor.

How are treating those who serve us?

We all can relate as a boss in how we treat our server at a restaurant.

Whether you are a janitor scrubbing toilets or a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, there is no difference with God.

Mike also asked each of us to pray and consider a few practical ways we could change the way we work to display Christ.

Here are a few I came up with:

Perform my job as if it has a direct reflection on Christ and his accomplishments.

Love and respect all of my co-workers regardless of how they treat me.

Serve my boss as I should be serving Christ.

Below is the link to the sermon. I hope you glean as much from it as I did.

Displaying Christ from 9 to 5.

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

The Sovereignty of God and The Last Revival at Geneva

Today I listened to a wonderful sermon by the late Dr. James Montgomery Boice. The sermon is posted here at the bottom of the page. If you read the accompanying personal story written by Pastor Barry York, you will be blessed as well. I found the Gentle Reformation blog posting via the Challies feed in My Feedly. You just gotta love technology.

As I listened to Kokomo Krusade story by Dr. Boice, and as he expounded on the Romans 11, Dr. Boice mentions and emphatically recommends a commentary of Romans by Robert Haldane. This is a recommendation I could not help but research. What I found is, this Romans commentary comes highly recommended in Reformation circles. Almost as thrilling as finding this gem of a commentary is the history behind how Robert Haldane came to write his commentary. The story, along with some other tid bits about Robert Haldane  can be found here, including some encouraging info concerning the sovereignty of God through his life.

Below, I have provided a few links. The first two are links to the Haldane Romans Commentary. The first one also has a bit of the story from Dr. Boice, and the second is the commentary by itself. The last link is also the link to the story of the last known Reformation revival in Geneva Switzerland. Enjoy!

Robert Haldane by James M. Boice

Romans Commentary by Robert Haldane – PDF format

Up From the Ashes: Robert Haldane and the Revival in Geneva

Actual commentary at Amazon.com

S D G!!