- Do I create the impression that I am a better man than I really am -- in other words, am I a hypocrite?
- Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
- Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
- Am I enjoying prayer?
- Do I disobey God in anything?
- Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
- Am I defeated in any part of my life, jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
- How do I spend my spare time?
- Am I proud?
- Is there anybody whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard?
- Do I grumble or complain constantly?
- Is Christ real to me?
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease
I would far rather publish the good writings of my brothers and sisters than to seek glory for myself by always being the one doing the writing, or the preaching. Let Him who “ever lives to make intercession for us” (Hebrews ), receive any glory that comes from these feeble publishing efforts. To paraphrase George Whitefield “Let the name of Woodruff perish, but Christ be glorified!”. I only let you know who I am so that I may be of service to you in Jesus Christ. Cw
As George Whitefield himself said:
“Unloose my stammering tongue to tell, Thy Love immense, unsearchable”.
Stage Christianity (from a letter of Samuel Rutherford).
Now, Madam, let me tell you that most people only have a stage Christianity. They consider it to be a mask easily put on or taken off. I myself thought it would be an easy thing to be a Christian, and that seeking God would only be like a jaunt next door. But O the windings, the turnings, the ups and downs that He has led me through! And even so, it still seems as if it will be a long way to the shore.** "Shore" is a common image for death. (Here
C. H. SPURGEON'S FIRST WORDS at the Tabernacle
MTP Vol 7, pg. 169, Acts
I WOULD PROPOSE THAT THE SUBJECT OF THE MINISTRY IN THIS HOUSE, AS LONG AS THIS PLATFORM SHALL STAND, AND AS LONG AS THIS HOUSE SHALL BE FREQUENTED BY WORSHIPPERS, SHALL BE THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST. I AM NEVER ASHAMED TO AVOW MYSELF A CALVINIST; I DO NOT HESITATE TO TAKE THE NAME OF BAPTIST; BUT IF I AM ASKED WHAT IS MY CREED, I REPLY — "IT IS JESUS CHRIST."
MY VENERATED PREDECESSOR, DR. GILL, HAS LEFT A BODY OF DIVINITY, ADMIRABLE AND EXCELLENT IN ITS WAY; BUT THE BODY OF DIVINITY TO WHICH I WOULD PIN & BIND MYSELF FOR EVER, GOD HELPING ME, IS NOT HIS SYSTEM, OR ANY OTHER HUMAN TREATISE; BUT JESUS CHRIST, WHO IS THE SUM & SUBSTANCE OF THE GOSPEL, WHO IS IN HIMSELF ALL THEOLOGY, THE INCARNATION OF EVERY PRECIOUS TRUTH, THE ALL-GLORIOUS PERSONAL EMBODIMENT OF THE WAY, THE TRUTH, & THE LIFE.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Recently my youngest son, Mark, built some nice bookshelves for my office. Before this, I had quite a few books that couldn’t be found, because of lack of display room. Mark did a great job, and much of the problem has been remedied. In going through books, which had been stored for quite a while, it has been necessary to discard a few of them. I did come across two books that were extremely hard to throw away. They were both Bibles; a Russian one and an old KJV. Both were in pretty bad shape with missing pages. Both were ordinary Bibles that had long ago seen their best days.
You may not realize, my dear friends, how difficult it was for me to discard those two Bibles. You see, I remember well that Christians in
I remember being in
Later when Georgi and his family were released in an exchange worked out by the Carter administration, they came to the
I remember in 1985 traveling by train from
Of course, the ones I took in were quickly given away in the churches that
Do you recognize how important the Bible is? In Christianity, in its broadest sense, a Bible is very necessary. I do not care if you are Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Adventist, Episcopal, Orthodox or even Catholic. You can be Calvinist, Arminian, Semi-Pelagian, Conditionalist, Absolute Predestinarian, Modernist, Neo- Evangelical, Fundamentalist or whatever you call yourself. You’ll be hard pressed to practice your faith without a Bible! We take the Bible for granted in the west. There are many places in the world today where they do not. For instance,
I am willing to help anyone get a Bible, regardless of their religion or lack thereof. I saw too many people who I believe were genuine Christians, who did not have Bibles under communism. In many cases, perhaps most, how will people know the truth, if they have not the written word of God? Remember in Nehemiah’s day revival among the Jews came as God’s word was rediscovered and publicly read (please see Nehemiah chapter eight). Read and meditate on verse eight which says: “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading”. Also: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy ). “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16,17).
So, beloved, you can see how difficult it would be for a true Christian to function without the scriptures. Not impossible, but difficult. Haralan Popov and Simion Motz, who both served many years in harsh communist prisons, each personally told me how Christian prisoners had no Bibles, but shared the word from memory
with one another when they could gather. There, in prison, one page of the Bible was precious.
It may come to that here in
Call me old fashioned, obscurantist, whatever you will, but I believe the Masoretic text in the OT, and the majority text (received text = Textus Receptus), in the NT, is God’s settled word. In English, only the KJV, NKJV, Darby, and a handful of other translations are based on TR. The rest are Westcott and Hort variations. In English, I have seen nothing to surpass the KJV in spite of the Elizabethan language. Study it and you will be really richer for it. There are many study aids to help you grasp it. But, use whatever version you prefer, but I will stick with the old book ‘til Jesus comes or I go home.
The Russian Bible Society is a reliable distributor of Bibles in the languages of the former soviet states. Their address is: Russian Bible Society,
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Present day Christianity has largely rejected the teaching of God's grace in its biblical fullness Instead, we have on all sides a largely man-centered religion. "Media Event Christianity" is the norm in so many churches. The manipulation of souls and "decisionism" has given us a watered-down gospel that couldn't save a flea. It has been taught that God can only do what man "lets" Him do! But this is a far cry from the God of the Bible! He is the Sovereign of the universe! He does not need our help, we need His!
Naturally to declare God as God Almighty is going to "ruffle some feathers". The Baptists of today forget the London Confession, the Philadelphia Confession, and the New Hampshire Confession of Faith, which all contain clear and strong statements regarding the Sovereign God.
The Baptists are not alone in forgetting. The Presbyterians of today often fail to take note of the old landmark Westminster Confession of Faith (which differs from the Philadelphia Confession very little). The heritage of the church is largely discarded today, and the “emerging church”, “wealth and health gospel” along with “new evangelicalism”. and now "ultra-modernism". Most of today's fundamentalism cannot shape up when compared to the faith of our fathers. For the most part, as J.B. Phillips once said, "Your God is too small". Truth has fallen in the streets! We desperately need revival. I pray for it. I believe that reformation must come before true revival will come.
(I originally wrote the majority of these words in 1983. Some things have changed for the better, but it is evident that many things are much worse).