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1. The Spirit awakens a person’s heart.
2. The Spirit teaches a person’s mind.
3. The Spirit leads to the Word.
4. The Spirit convinces of sin.
5. The Spirit draws to Christ.
6. The Spirit sanctifies.
7. The Spirit makes a person spiritually minded.
8. The Spirit produces inward conflict.
9. The Spirit makes a person love the brethren.
10. The Spirit teaches a person to pray.
These are the great marks of the Holy Spirit’s presence. Put the question to your conscience and ask: Has the Spirit done anything of this kind for your soul?
~ J.C. Ryle
HT: JC Ryles Quotes
by Bill Perkins
Compass International, Inc.
The “repentance in salvation”question is hotly debated between the dispensationalists and covenant theologians. The idea of “salvation without repentance” understandably sends many into fits of rage. But is salvation without repentence even possible?
Lewis Chafer wrote:
Roy B. Zuck writes:
Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead
the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness
of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the
Dr. Charles Ryrie says of this verse,“Clearly, repentance for the forgiveness of sins is connected to the death and resurrection of Christ.”(Charles C. Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Victor Books, p. 98).
that your good works will save you, but they won’t. The only thing that can save you is your faith and belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Neither did Jesus tell the woman at the well in Samaria to repent. When she recounted her story, the other Samaritians didn’t “repent,” rather they “believed.”
Christians do sin and when we are convicted about that sin, we need to repent, or change directions, away from the sin toward God’s way. But this repentance has nothing to do with salvation. It’s simply a Believer maturing in his/her faith.
Psychology erroneously attempts to explain human behavior in terms other than our sinfulness and moral accountability to God and turns sin into a mental disease or some unconscious urge caused by past traumas, etc. This is the trap that so-called Christian psychologists fall into continually.
For I know that in me (that is in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
‘Apples of Gold’
The Berean Call
We live in difficult times. Many Christians are confused and disillusioned wondering how we should live. Some blogs I have visited would have us storing up food in preparation for shortages. Others would have us buying solar panels and batteries in case we lose access to the power grid. I’ve even read some families gathering guns and ammunition in case the government takes away the right to bear arms.
Sounds crazy, right?
Today’s ‘Question For the Day’ in the ‘Good Morning, LORD! devotion gives us a biblical perspective.
QUESTION FOR THE DAY
I have some Christian friends who are telling me that the United States is being dismantled by a world conspiracy, the dollar will be worth very little in the near future and Obama isn’t a lawful President—something about his birth certificate. They are fully convinced of all this and it worries me. They are saying I should store food and purchase a radar-deflecting tent so I can get my family out of the city to a safe place when it all falls apart. Is this predicted anywhere in the Bible?
If they really are, “Christian friends,” they don’t have a clue about leading a Christ-centered life. The number one problem is that they leave God out of the equation. Whether we understand what’s going on or not, and whether we like the circumstances or not, we are assured that God is fully in control and He allows each and every leader to be in power, for His purposes.
“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”
“By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice.”
“The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.”
So God was not “surprised” when President Obama was elected. Quite the contrary. God allowed him to be elected and will use him for His purposes, to accomplish His will.
When Peter kept his eyes on the Lord, he could walk on water. But when he began to look at the wind and waves around him, taking his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink (Matt 14:28-31).
You are not responsible for circumstances beyond your control, but are responsible and accountable for your responses to your circumstances. A balanced response to any of your friend’s concerns would include an eternal perspective. In the scenario your friends are espousing, do you think you could better serve God by hiding on a mountain top, or by helping your friends, family and neighbors around you in a time of crisis by giving them eternal truths? If things get really bad, you will have the God-given opportunity to witness about the things that count. You have eternal answers so why would you want to hide your light? Rather than being worried, a situation like that would be an incredible opportunity to reach many who may not have been interested in the past!
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord …, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God”
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.”
As far as storing food, the Bible is VERY clear that up until the Lord comes for His church at the Rapture, there will be a functioning economy, food, social events, etc.
“And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed“.
Regarding President Obama, we are commanded to be subject to our leaders (Rom 13:1) respect our leaders (1 Pet 2:13), pray for our leaders (1Tim 2:1-2) and pay our taxes (Ro 13:7). And these commandments were given when they were burning Christians on poles for party lights. But we know that one day, everyone, including Barack Hussein Obama, will meet and bend their knees to the Lord Jesus Christ.
“so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,”
Regarding the United States possibly descending from its perch of being the most powerful nation in the world, we wrote an article about a Biblical nation whose characteristics only fit the U.S. That nation is wiped out, but it happens, thankfully, POST RAPTURE. You can read about the characteristics of that nation on our web site: compass.org. Click on, “Compass Communique,” in the middle of the home page and then click on the article, “America in Bible Prophecy.”
Dave Hunt’s new book, Cosmos, Creator and Human Destiny, has been the topic of the Berean Call’s last two newsletters. Dave tells us that his newest book,
“…begins with a brief look at the vastness of the universe. Even if we could build space vehicles that might travel at the speed of light, it would take 100,000 years to cross The Milky Way, our relatively small galaxy, and billions of years to reach the trillions of galaxies beyond. These facts show how foolish is man’s dream of ‘space exploration.'”
In the January newsletter, he shares this poignant story of a man,
“…preaching on Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park in London, England, who in his sermon said that anyone who didn’t believe in God was a fool. A man in the crowd of listeners shouted out, “I’m an atheist. If you can’t prove that I’m a fool, I’ll publish it in the papers and we’ll run you out of town!”
“You really don’t believe in God?”
“You bet I don’t! I’ve been fighting against God all my life!”
“Tell me,” replied the preacher, “if a man who spends his life fighting against someone who doesn’t exist isn’t a fool, then who is?”
You can read part 1 here.
In the February newsletter, Hunt continues his preview by turning
“…to the equal folly of man’s efforts to find an evolutionary link between himself and lower creatures. Evolutionists have been digging desperately to find a physical link but to no avail.”
He continues by positing,
“Atheism and its corollary, materialism, are speechless when asked to account for the human qualities that we all value so highly and that distinguish us from all other creatures: the appreciation of music and poetry, the enjoyment of beauty in nature (in which even Dawkins exults), the ability to form conceptual ideas and express them in words, to understand mathematics in relation to the universe to use the imagination as do architects and engineers, or to feel and express a love that is so clearly unique to humans. We all know that animals do not share these qualities and capabilities with us. lesser creatures possess none of these purely human characteristics that we value so highly, nor can these capabilities be explained by natural selection or evolution. We owe nothing to these allegedly scientifically proven processes for our moral, ethical, and spiritual qualities.”
By quoting noted professors and scientists, Hunt offers significant questions to evolutionist such as the problem of origins and the ‘complexity and acuity’ of the eyes of ‘later anthropods’ compared to humans’. Fascinating stuff, indeed!
You can read part 2 here.
Cosmos, Creator and Human Destiny is due to be released later this year. Sounds like it will be an interesting read!
Thy testimonies also are my delight; they are my counselors.
Thought for the Day:
Scripture should be your counselor, not a shrink.
Mini Bible Study for the Day:
Col. 1:28 “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.”
Col. 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
Here’s more information about the dangers of ‘Christian’ psychology: http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/
October brings with it many changes. Along with the delightful weather, I look forward to Mike Gendron’s quarterly publication called ‘Proclaiming the Gospel’. This newsletter’s main article is on repentance. which has been addressed on a previous post. May you be blessed by his article: The Role of Repentance in the Salvation of Sinners.
I recently found an excellent resource for Bible study. Precept Austin is a web ministry that has a plethora of information! From commentaries to charts and hymns to maps, this site has anything you could possibly need to aid you in your study. Here’s the link: http://preceptaustin.org/
This past January I started studying the book of Daniel. I used Dr. John Walvoord’s commentary as my guide. It took me over eight months to finish, however, it was a thorough study. One of the aspects of Dr. Walvoord’s teaching that I truly appreciate is the fact that he includes interpretations from others that differ from his, while offering reasons why he disagrees with biblical support for his view. Very insightful. Here’s the link to that series: http://www.walvoord.com/series.php?series_id=24
Lastly, may I suggest you spend some quality time reading the latest from the Berean Call. Dave Hunt and T.A. MacMahon consistently point us to the truth of Scripture. Here’s their latest offering: http://www.thebereancall.org/node/8076
Have a blessed weekend!
T.A. McMahon, of The Berean Call, has written a hard-hitting article titled, ‘The Battle over Truth for Our Youth’. McMahon rightly asserts that Satan, from the beginning, has employed a subversive strategy of questioning God’s Word in his effort to draw sinners away from Truth. Today, we find,
The “Yea, hath God said…?” strategy has been very successful in undermining the critical belief in the sufficiency of the Word of God. Although the Bible claims to be sufficient for “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3), many Christians who profess to believe the Bible no longer regard it as sufficient.
‘Sola scriptura’, or scripture alone, was a battle cry of the Reformation. Today, however, our youth are being seduced by churches and parachurch ministries that offer,
the “new” experiences, … religious art (primarily impressionistic images of “Jesus”), “biblical” films, rituals based upon Catholic/Orthodox liturgy, “community,” personal relationships, contemplative spirituality and mysticism (some include yoga), Bible “dialogues,” ecumenical interaction with “people of faith,” a social gospel, plans to save the planet, restore the kingdom, and so forth.
McMahon concludes that the only preventative measure for such enticements is to ground our children in God’s Word; to discipline and teach them sound doctrine. I would add that parents must be the primary providers of this teaching and discipleship. Sunday School teachers, youth pastors and private schools will NOT be held accountable for what YOUR child is taught. YOU WILL BE!
Sadly, the following is so true:
The Bible is the most exciting book there is, yet for years here in the U.S. our children have been fed a “let me entertain you” diet with only a hint of scriptural nutrition. That’s part of Satan’s “Yea, hath God said…?” strategy. The consequence is an upcoming generation that is, for the most part, spiritually anemic and ripe for the various schemes of apostasy. Deprived of the objective truths of Scripture, they are easy prey for those who would entice them through the subjective and experiential, that is, their “feelings.” Nevertheless, our marching orders involve a rescue operation as found in 2 Timothy 2:24-25: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” (emphasis mine)
I encourage you to read the entire artice which can be found at this link: http://www.thebereancall.org/node/7636.
With Easter on its way, this timely article helped me to put things into perspective.
FROM: Chuck Missler of K-House eNews
The Easter Season is here, complete with baskets and cellophane grass and chocolate bunnies in every store. While we enjoy the chocolate bunnies and malted eggs, it’s pretty obvious that cellophane grass has absolutely nothing to do with the Resurrection of our Lord. This time of year brings with it the annual uncomfortable question; what should we – as Christians – celebrate?
The term “Easter” itself alludes to the pagan roots of the holiday. The name comes from the Babylonian goddess, Ishtar (also, Astarte). It was the pagan preoccupation with fertility that linked rabbits’ rapid breeding with the golden egg of Astarte. Passover, and therefore the Resurrection of Jesus, occur in the springtime. As Christianity spread, the celebration that Christ had conquered death came neatly at a time when the pagan world was celebrating the renewal of nature after the death of winter. And so, today we have Easter egg hunts at churches across America on Resurrection Sunday.
Is that good? Should we, as Christians, allow remnants of pagan celebrations into our celebration of Christ? For those who understand that Easter’s fuzzy bunnies are really the residue of ancient Babylonian fertility religions, there seems to be two choices.
1. Reject Easter Traditions: Some Christians separate themselves from the remnants of those old fertility religions. They remember Christ’s Resurrection and forgo all the chocolate and hard boiled eggs. They may even celebrate Passover, and Jesus as the Passover Lamb. They rejoice that he was raised again as the Firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18) on Sunday, the Feast of Firstfruits.
2: Make Use Of Easter Traditions: Some Christians, on the other hand, see the Easter traditions as another opportunity to spread the Gospel and use the eggs as teaching tools. Some take 12 plastic eggs, for example, and fill each one with one object from the story of Jesus’ betrayal and death and his raising from the dead. The eggs contain things like coins, a sponge, nails, and a cross while the last one is empty, representing the empty tomb. Other people dye eggs, using each color to symbolize a different aspect of Christ’s death and resurrection (red stands for his blood, etc). There are dozens of ways that Sunday School teachers and parents have incorporated the current Easter traditions into the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.
Which is the better way?
We do not face this issue only at Easter. Most Christian holidays have leftover pagan traditions mixed into their celebrations. Do we stop giving out Valentines because boys and girls paired up for the (loosely connected) Roman festival of Lupercalia? Do we stop hanging mistletoe because it was once a part of fertility rights – or throw out Christmas altogether because the Romans celebrated Saturnalia in late December? Are those things unholy because they were once connected to paganism? Or can we use them as opportunities to spread the Gospel to our secular culture? How do we deal with these things according to the Word of God?
To The Jews First:
God gave Israel a law and a sacrificial system that would help them understand how the death of the Messiah could pay for sins. He gave them the Passover so they could understand that the blood of the Lamb would protect them from the wrath of God. God gave Israel feasts that stood as prophetic symbols, as types, of His plan for redemption. The Jews were primed to understand the purpose and mission of the Messiah, and while the eyes of many were blinded for a time, Jesus clearly stated that he came to the lost sheep of the House of Israel (Matt. 15:24).
Yet, Jesus came to save the whole world. The Gospel was for the Jews first, but also for the Gentiles according to the Scriptures (Isaiah 49:6, Acts 10:45, Rom. 1:16). The purpose of Israel was to be a light that shined the truth of God to all peoples.
And Also to the Gentiles:
When evangelists in the Early Church went out to preach to the world, though, the pagan nations did not have the same background that the Jews had. They had sacrificial systems as well, but without the precious subtleties provided by the Law. They did not have the same feasts and laws to give them a cultural understanding of the messages they were being given. The missionaries had to find ways within the existing pagan cultures to help the gentiles appreciate who Jesus was. St. Patrick in Ireland was not alone. Many early Church evangelists incorporated Christian teachings into existing celebrations, “Christianizing” those traditions.
Whether that was a good or bad thing has long been the subject of debate. Some argue that those celebrations are not in the Bible and that mixing Christian beliefs with pagan traditions is at best distracting and is at worst a form of bowing the knee to those false gods.
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” (2 Cor. 6:17)
Others argue that Christianity has sanctified those celebrations, making the unholy holy.
“Unto the pure all things are pure:” (Titus 1:15)
Paul and Plato:
The Apostle Paul, sent by God to minister to the gentiles, believed in making the most of every opportunity (1 Cor. 9:18-23). Paul is famous for his use of Greek culture to get ideas across to his Greek audience. He constantly makes allusions to Plato with statements like, “…which are a shadow of things to come,” (Col. 2:17) and “For now we see through a glass, darkly,” (1 Cor. 13:10). Do Paul’s frequent allusions to Plato indicate that Plato himself was inspired by God? No. Rather, Paul made use of Plato because his Greek audience understood Plato, and he could use Plato’s ideas as tools to help gentile minds understand the truth about our lives in Jesus Christ.
Was he right to do this? Didn’t he run the risk of making people think he was legitimizing the many unbiblical ideas Plato had? That’s a good question.
Yet, Jesus appears to have done the exact same thing. Jesus makes a puzzling statement in Acts when he knocks Paul (still “Saul” at that time) off his donkey on the road to Damascus. He says, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks,” (Acts 9:5).
“Kick against the pricks” is a phrase used multiple times in Greek plays, including in Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus, and The Bacchae by Euripides. In both cases it has to do with a mortal’s stubborn defiance. In The Bacchae, the mortal Pentheus has the god Dionysus bound, refusing to believe that he’s a god. Dionysus tells Pentheus, “Better to yield [me] prayer and sacrifice than kick against the pricks…”
Does this reference mean that Jesus himself was anything like the god Dionysus? Of course not. It also does not indicate that Paul would suffer Pentheus’ fate of being torn apart by wild women Yet, the idiom would have instant meaning for Saul of Tarsus with his education in Greek literature. It would also have had meaning to those in the Greek culture to whom Paul told his conversion story.
Tripping Our Brothers:
What do we do today? Hunting Easter eggs hardly makes children think of Babylonian fertility goddesses, and there is nothing intrinsically evil in eggs or chocolate rabbits. At the same time, we do have knowledge of the Feasts of Israel, the original celebrations meant to point the way to Christ. How should we behave?
Here is what Paul says on the matter. “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean,” (Romans 14:14).
If you believe it is wrong to give your children Easter baskets, then it is wrong for you to do so. If, however, you are fully persuaded in your conscience that it’s harmless fun, then rejoice in your liberty. Paul says about these sorts of things, “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind,” (Romans 14:5).
And yet, we have a responsibility to not cause our brothers to stumble. “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock…” (1 Cor. 8:9, 11).
We should do nothing that could harm our fellow Christians or cause them to do something against their own consciences. We need to do everything we do with the heart of Christ, with love, and not out of pride or selfishness or judgmentalism. After all, the whole point of any Christian celebration is to bring glory to God. Let’s make sure every decision we make it focused on that goal. [And if we can enjoy some chocolate at the same time, then may God be glorified in that as well!]