Saturday, November 22, 2014

covenant presence

"Covenant presence, then, means that God commits himself to us, to be our God and to make us his people. He delivers us by his grace and rules us by his law (so covenant presence presupposes control and authority; we have seen earlier that they imply presence), and he rules not only from up above, but with us and within us.
 
"Recognizing God’s lordship affects the way we understand the world. If God is in control of the world, then the world is under his control. If God is our supreme authority, then he has the right to tell us what to believe. And if he is present everywhere, our attempts to know the world ought to recognize that presence. The most important fact about anything in the world is its relationship to God’s lordship."

Friday, November 21, 2014

faith shapes culture

"Even avowed atheists, at the end of the day, still have to come up with some sort of placeholder for the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus Christ in order to explain how the universe got here. For instance, what is Richard Dawkins’s reverential treatment of Darwinian natural selection if not an attempt to suggest that something other than the God of the Bible—in this case, the laws of biology—is absolutely necessary to explain the origin, diversity, and beauty we find on planet earth and in the cosmos? Throughout the course of human civilization, what has been seen as ultimate has been worshipped. And that which is worshipped always makes demands upon its followers. In that sense then, everyone is religious. Dawkins’s god may not be personal, but his worldview bears the marks of religious fervor. He has a list of orthodoxies and is quick to cast out heretics from his midst. Despite earnest attempts to do away with religion in modern times, it cannot and will not go away. Faith shapes culture. It is simply a matter of which belief system a society chooses and how effectively that faith nourishes the animating impulses of a people."  

--Gregory Thornbury, Recovering Classic Evangelicalism: Applying the Wisdom and Vision of Carl F. H. Henry (Crossway, 2013)


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

confession leads to joy not despair

“If you are truly trusting in Christ, you can’t confess a sin for which God has not provided forgiveness in Jesus.  Indeed, if you work at the discipline of confessing your sin, it should not lead to despair at all, but rather to rejoicing over the extent of God’s love to you in Christ.”

(Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence, from It Is Well: Expositions on Substitutionary Atonement)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

the thought world

And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. (Genesis 4:4-8 ESV)

"The Christian life, true spirituality, always begins inside, in our thought world." (Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality, p. 122)

true and false spirituality

"Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.  These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God." (Colossians 2:16-19 ESV)(See also 2:20-23) 

False spirituality described in Colossians 2:16-23.  Here are some of the "isms" we face today...




This passage also gives characteristics of true spirituality...




Christ's death applied to all of our life, from birth to death. After conversion we are not on probation or justified by our behavior. True spirituality is lived in the light and power of Christ's perfect, complete, and finished work on the cross. 




The audio of this sermon, "Shadow and Substance," can be found here