Omul Care S-a Jucat Cu Pacatul si a Murit

Photo credit answers.com

Undeva pe Valea Draganului, un frate englez ne povestea cum invata mai multi lideri din Cuvantul Domnului.  La un moment dat le-a dat un eseu, sa scrie.

Unul dintre ei, de care el stia ca traia in adulter, a ramas la sfarsit de tot, dupa ce toti ceilalti au plecat si a spus: „Frate lector, frate Dan, imi permiti sa scriu eu un eseu despre iertarea din cauza de adulter?

Si acest om i-a raspuns, luminat de Dumnezeu: „Nu mai trebuie sa scrii nici un eseu pentru ca judecata lui Dumnezeu s-a rostit in dreptul tau.”

De ce? Pentru ca acest om Il sfida pe Dumnezeu, propunandu-i omului lui Dumnezeu sa scrie  pe o astfel de tema. Deci, aceasta desensibilizare a constiintei a actionat in cazul lui.

Si ceea ce este dramatic, oarecum similar cu ce s-a petrecut pe vremea ap. Pavel, (oarecum similar, totusi nu identic) e ca intr-o saptamana, acest barbat de 30+  ani a murit. Nu te poti juca la infinit cu Dumnezeu.

Vezi / Citeste mai mult aici …

Reclame

Keith Green – Create in Me a Clean Heart – Zideste in mine o inima curata

Psalmul 51

Pentru dirijor. Un psalm al lui David compus pe vremea când profetul Natan a venit la el, după ce păcătuise cu Batşeba.

photo credit mommyecko

Ai milă de mine, Dumnezeule, în bunătatea Ta! După îndurarea Ta cea mare, şterge fărădelegile mele!
2 Spală-mă cu desăvîrşire de nelegiuirea mea, şi curăţeşte-mă de păcatul meu!
3 Căci îmi cunosc bine fărădelegile, şi păcatul meu stă necurmat înaintea mea.
4 Împotriva Ta, numai împotriva Ta, am păcătuit şi am făcut ce este rău înaintea Ta; aşa că vei fi drept în hotărîrea Ta, şi fără vină în judecata Ta.
5 Iată că sînt născut în nelegiuire, şi în păcat m’a zămislit mama mea.
6 Dar Tu ceri ca adevărul să fie în adîncul inimii: fă dar să pătrundă înţelepciunea înlăuntrul meu!
7 Curăţeşte-mă cu isop, şi voi fi curat; spală-mă, şi voi fi mai alb decît zăpada.
8 Fă-mă să aud veselie şi bucurie, şi oasele, pe cari le-ai zdrobit Tu, se vor bucura.
9 Întoarce-Ţi privirea dela păcatele mele, şterge toate nelegiuirile mele!
10 Zideşte în mine o inimă curată, Dumnezeule, pune în mine un duh nou şi statornic!
11 Nu mă lepăda dela Faţa Ta, şi nu lua dela mine Duhul Tău cel Sfînt.
12 Dă-mi iarăş bucuria mîntuirii Tale, şi sprijineşte-mă cu un duh de bunăvoinţă!
13 Atunci voi învăţa căile Tale pe ceice le calcă, şi păcătoşii se vor întoarce la Tine.
14 Dumnezeule, Dumnezeul mîntuirii mele! Izbăveşte-mă de vina sîngelui vărsat, şi limba mea va lăuda îndurarea Ta.
15 Doamne, deschide-mi buzele, şi gura mea va vesti lauda Ta.
16 Dacă ai fi voit jertfe, Ţi-aş fi adus: dar Ţie nu-Ţi plac arderile de tot.
17 Jertfele plăcute lui Dumnezeu sînt un duh zdrobit: Dumnezeule, Tu nu dispreţuieşti o inimă zdrobită şi mîhnită.
18 În îndurarea Ta, varsă-Ţi binefacerile asupra Sionului, şi zideşte zidurile Ierusalimului!
19 Atunci vei primi jertfe neprihănite, arderi de tot şi jertfe întregi; atunci se vor aduce pe altarul Tău viţei.

VIDEO by Sky Bemis

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. (ESV Version)

photo credit Amydeanne

51 Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
    O God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
    build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19 then will you delight in right sacrifices,
    in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

The Apostle Paul would not feel welcome in many evangelical churches today

photo credit centralumcatl.org

photo credit centralumcatl.org

BY NAPP NAZWORTH, from the CHRISTIAN POST
Worship services in evangelical churches do not mention sin, a major part of the Gospel message, Dr. Cornelius Plantinga, senior research fellow at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, said Monday at the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s Faith Angle Forum.

„In very many evangelical and confessionally Reformed churches these days, sin is a rare topic,” he said.

Cornelius Plantinga via calvinseminary.edu

He came to this conclusion from his experience of speaking in different churches most Sundays for the past 30 years, talking to evangelical friends, observing the content of worship music used by evangelical churches, and reading the books and articles of Dr. David Wells, distinguished senior research professor at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, Plantinga explained to the conference of journalists.

Anglicans, Catholics and Lutherans continue to include confession or a rite of penitence as a regular part of their worship services, he noted. But in evangelical and Reformed churches, he sees „less and less” sin-related material every year.

Over 158,000 churches in North America get the music for their worship services from Christian Copyright Licensing International, Plantinga explained. CCLI provides a valuable service to churches by streamlining the process of obtaining licenses for their worship music. Churches can pay a single fee and obtain all the licenses from CCLI’s library.

Looking at the content of CCLI songs, Plantinga observed that there are „very few penitential songs.” The „biblical tradition of lament, which is all through the prophets and the Psalms is gone, just not there,” he said.

One of the reasons Plantinga believes evangelical worship leaves out sin is a desire to be „seeker friendly” and avoid topics that may turn off non-Christians or new Christians.

„Mindful that seekers come to church in American no-fault culture in which tolerance is a big virtue and intolerance a big vice, worship finders in evangelical churches often want nothing in the service that sounds judgmental,” he said. And for that reason „lots of evangelical churches these days are unrelievedly cheerful.”

Quoting Wells, Plantinga argued that leaving sin out of worship is consistent with the theology of many evangelical churches in which „God is on easy terms with modernity” and mostly concerned with „church growth and psychological wholeness.”

The Apostle Paul would not feel welcome in many evangelical churches today, he added. „Where is [Paul’s] easy smile? Why does he want to discipline people? Why is he so doggone dogmatic? Where are the stories in his sermons? And where does he get off implying that the woman singing special music in church should not do so while also lying on top of the church piano?”

During the panel’s question and answer period, Plantinga clarified that he is not only talking about non-denominational congregations but the „old confessional Protestant forms” as well, such as the Christian Reformed Church, Reformed Church in America, and United Presbyterian Church.

This was not always the case with evangelical churches, Plantinga explained. „They used to be champions of the holiness of God, of contrition for sins against God’s holiness, and therefore grace that justifies sinners,” but „a lot of that has dissipated.”

When churches leave the topic of sin out of worship, they are not relevant to the lives of their congregants, Plantinga believes, because people encounter sin and sin’s consequences daily.

„Ceasingly cheerful worship does not fit with the lives of people who come to worship,” he said. „… Churches that silence the biblical message of sin and grace simply aren’t anywhere near where people actually live their lives, including people in their own congregations.”

Read the entire article here – http://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelical-worship-is-too-cheerful-neglects-sin

 

David Platt – The Cross and Christian Sexuality (Part 2 of 2)

Photo credit uhbcignite.wordpress.com

See PART 1 here

You can print out and follow along with the sermon notes here (4 pages) – www.radical.net/files/2650/MN_130630_c.pdf See VIDEO link at the bottom of this post (You will have to click on picture).

Text: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 – Sexual Immorality

  • The central exhortation in the text is „Flee from sexual immorality.” Don’t reason with sexual immorality, don’t rationalize it, flee from it as fast as you can. Last week we talked about what sexual immorality is.
  • The biblical clarification is- when the Bible says to flee sexual immorality, the Bible is saying to flee any and all sexual activity outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
  • The term porneia (used) is any sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman. That includes any and all fornication, prostitution, pornography, adultery, homosexual activity, any and all sexual thinking, desiring, looking, touching, speaking, acting outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. All of these things are sin, and we are to run from them. Quoting Kevin DeYoung: „The simplest way to understand porneia is to think about things that would make you furious and heartbroken if you found out someone was doing them with your husband or your wife.” So, if you think sexual immorality, think any kind of sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman. That’s the key. This is not at all to say that sex is bad. But, that sex is good within the boundaries that God has designed for sex.
  • You had Corinthians then, saying just like Americans today, „Well, it’s 2 consenting adults, what’s the problem? This is what my body was made for. I was created this way. Just because I eat when I’m hungry, I do this because of my biology. And who are you to say this is sin? And what makes it sin? It’s just who I am.” And Paul says, „No, it’s not who you are. Your body is not just about biology. Your body is much more valuable than that. Your body has been created and designed by God for your good, and for His glory. And so it’s wise to listen about what God says about your body.” God says it as clearly as it’s possible to say: Sex is for marriage between a man and a woman, and any sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is sin, it’s sexual immorality and we should flee it. (These are notes from the introduction, first 7 minutes).

In Part 2 – the topics of pornography and masturbation are preached on. Platt gives a list of clear biblical prohibitons in Scripture (17th min).

  1. No sex outside of marriage. OT says it, Jesus says it, NT reiterates it. Having sex with your spouse is the sign that you are in covenant with this person. Having sex outside of marriage makes a mockery out of that covenant.
  2. No sexual worship. Sex is good, but sex is not God. Throughout the history of God’s people, Deuteronomy 23, Exodus 32, 1 Corinthians 10, we see God’s people fall into the trap of worshipping sex. It’s happening today as part of our culture. I’m convinced this is what’s at the root of so much that’s going on in our culture right now. People thinking, „If only I had sexual freedom this way or that way, then I will be happy.” But, this too is a false God, it’s a broken cistern that does not hold water. So, let’s be there when they see that the broken cistern does not hold water, and say, „There is one who satisfies. And satisfaction is not found in this gift (sex), but it’s found in the giver of the gift. Sex is good, but it’s not God.”
  3. No sexual prostitution or violence. Scripture speaks clearly against all forms of violence, including sadism, masochism, any kind of spousal abuse. God has not designed sex to be hurtful. He has designed the marriage relationship to mirror that between Christ and His church (Ephesians 5) which sacrifices for one another’s good.
  4. No homosexual activity. You have deny Scripture altogether to miss this. (Platt speaks on this subject more in the first video- see here) It is impossible to biblically justify homosexual activity.
  5. No sex with animals, relatives, or children.
  6. No sexual lust- having wrong sexual desires for others. Jesus is clear in Matthew 5 „Everyone that looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. It is wrong for you to think about, entertain the thought of, or desire in any way, sex with someone who is not your wife or your husband. That’s lust.
  7. No sexual immodesty – provoking wrong sexual desire in others. This is huge. Men and women across this room, it is wrong for you to provoke sexual desire in someone else who is not your wife or your husband. Romans 14:21 „Don’t cause your brother to stumble.” Specifically speaking to women, 1 Timothy 2:9-10 „Women should adorn themselves with respectable apparel, with modesty and self control, with what is proper for women who profess godliness with good works.” In other words, women dress modestly, not in a way that draws attention to yourself sexually. This is so huge. Let’s just be honest. In our culture, we are extremely loose when it comes to what women wear- skin tight clothes, low necklines, short dresses, short skirts, short shorts, it goes on… it’s the norm among us and it falls dreadfully short of God’s standards for us. And I say this in general, but even when it comes to the gathering of the church, the Bible says to the women of the church, and with all due respect, even to sisters in this room right now: The way some of you are dressing around your brothers are at best, a distraction from honoring God, and at worst, an attempt- whether you realize it or not, to seduce men in this church into sin. The Bible says, „Don’t do it.” For the sake of your brothers, for the sake of your body: Dress modestly. And don’t miss what 1 Timothy is saying there. It’s not saying, „Don’t adorn yourself with anything.” But don’t adorn yourself with physical immodesty that draws attention to you. But adorn yourself with good works that draw attention to God. I urge you church: No sexual immodesty, for your good, for our good, ultimately for God’s glory, to whom we want to point attention. They have lowered the standards in the culture around us and the church thinks: As long as we’re above that we’re okay.” Don’t buy it.
  8. No sexual allurement- including inappropriate emotional attachment outside of marriage. Now the Scriptures that I’ve listed here are particular to a woman alluring a man, but this could go either way, and often goes both ways. Emotional attachment is often the gateway for many people into a sexual affair. You remember those feelings when you were first attracted to someone. You thought about that person all the time. You looked forward to every interaction with that person, even if it was something small, you just wanted to be around them. You were emotionally attached to them. But then, after time goes on, years of marriage, years even and the shine off the romance begins to fade as you watch them brush their teeth on a daily basis. And the reality is that no man, no woman can consistently measure up to that sweaty palms, butterfly feelings that you once got. And so, another man, or another woman can come along, and he or she can start to make you feel like your wife or your husband once made you feel. And so you find yourself thinking about that other person, beginning to look forward to interaction with that other person. And slowly, you start to think about and turn to that other person in the way that you are supposed to think about and turn to your husband or your wife. And you rationalize it, thinking, „This isn’t an emotional attachment, it’s just enjoying time with someone else? What’s so wrong with that?” And maybe it’s the sort of thing your soul is starving for because you’re not getting it in marriage. And so, you think it’s not physical and so it’s not harmful and the reality is that the more you become attached in your thoughts and your emotions, the more you will find yourself wanting to attach to that person physically. You read both Provers 5 and Proverbs 7 and you see an emotional attachment that eventually leads to a physical relationship. I just want you to listen to how the author describes it. In this case, it’s a woman luring a man emotionally: „With much seductive speech she persuades him. With her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter. As a stag is caught fast as an arrow pierces its liver. As a bird rushes into a snare. He does not know that it will cost him his life. Oh sons, listen to me and be attentive to the words of my mouth. Let not your heart turn aside to her ways. Do not stray unto her paths, for many a victim has she lain low and all her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.” And this can go both ways (a man can also sexually allure). No sexual allurement. Don’t allow yourself to be sexually allured. This is happening. I know this is happening in people’s hearts and minds all across this room tonight. It’s happening. Don’t do it! You’re like an ox going to the slaughter.
  9. No sexual looking or touching outside of marriage. Job 31 „I made a covenant with my eyes..” Great picture, making a covenant with your eyes not to look at another woman. So, don’t look at someone else sexually who is not your husband or your wife. And this is not just lusting, this can involve taking advantage of another person, when you are able to see something in private that you should not see. That’s exactly what happened with Ham and Noah in Genesis 9. And then it pertains to what you touch. The Bible prohibits touching in any way that you would not normally touch your friend or neighbor, in any way that is sexual in nature.
  10. No entertaining ourselves with or joking around about sex outside of marriage. This is huge. Ephesians 5:3 „Sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” It goes on to say that it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. The reason this is so huge is that in our culture, even as Christians, even for those who say, „Okay, I am not gonna indulge myself sexually in these ways,” so many of us are entertaining ourselves with those who do indulge themselves sexually in these ways. You say, „What do you mean?” Well, you think about the books we read, the music we listen to, the movies we pay to watch, the TV shows we turn on, how many of them make light of or even exalt sexual immorality? Movie after movie, song after song, so many songs we listen to and we sing by heart that are talking about sexual activity outside of marriage. Book after book, bestsellers like the 50 shades of gray, and countless other subtle versions of the same thing, that are filling leisure reading among Christians. We read these things, we listen to these things, we watch these things and it is as if we say to the world, „We’re not gonna do the things you do, but, we’ll gladly pay money to read about, to listen, and watch you doing them in front of us.” Ephesians 5:3 says, „It must not be named among you. It’s shameful to even speak the things they do in secret. Don’t miss this: God’s standard doesn’t just start with us avoiding these sins, but with us not entertaining ourselves with others’ sins. Now, I am not presuming here that just to talk about sexual immorality is sin, that would make this whole sermon a sin. But, the key is we’re not talking about sexual immorality in a way that views it as good, but as something that we are to avoid. And so much of what we’re exposing our eyes and our minds to, and so much of what we’re exposing our kids’ eyes and kids’ minds to  is dulling our spiritual senses to the point where we see sexual immorality  as not that bad- in the end, kind of entertaining to us, when it should not be. We should grieve over it an run from it. God’s word prohibits entertaining ourselves with jokes or books, or movies about sex outside of marriage. (34:00)

When you look back at all these prohibitions it’s because God forbids sexual activity outside of marriage. God has designed sexual activity for marriage. Sex is not bad, sex is good within the boundaries that God designed it for.  It is at this point that people start talking about gray areas, and there’s tons we can dive into, but there are 3 common practical questions here I want to delve into when we talk about sexual immorality. Questions like:

How far is too far between a single man and a single woman? 

And it’s questions like these when we start looking for specific Bible verses and when we don’t find one, we conclude: I guess I’m just gonna have to figure this one out on my own. And that’s exactly what we’ve done with this question in the church, in a way I’m convinced has been disastrous for teenagers and men and women all across the church. I would even go so far as to say that a lack of an objective biblical answer to this question has been disastrous in my life. So I wanna be completely honest with you in this question. Before I got married, particularly in high school and college, I had I don’t know how many conversations with friends and church leaders about this question.  And I cannot ever remember hearing a well reasoned objective biblical answer to this question. Instead, what I heard over and over again to something like this, people would say: Clearly no sex outside of marriage, the Bible prohibits that, but after that the Bible doesn’t give specifics. So you need to pray and set some boundaries, basically build your own list of sexual standards that you’re gonna live by. So I and my christian buddies would sit around and talk about what those standards should be. We all came up with different answers, some guys said kissing was okay, some guys said- as long as clothes stay on it’s okay, in reality, the guy with the lowest standards would usually win out in the discussion. You put together a bunch of guys who are sexual sinners, what else are you going to expect? And so, this is an area where I struggled. I struggled to set boundaries, and I struggled to keep boundaries, and I  found myself in this dangerous gray area that led to all sorts of confusion and guilt and failure. By God’s grace, Heather and I have never had sex with each other or with anyone else before we got married, but that did not mean that we glorified God with our bodies. And I share all that, to say that I remember well what this struggle was like. And I want to say tonight, what I wish somebody had said to me, or maybe they said and I just wasn’t listening. I want to show you what is a biblical objective answer to this question. And I am going to warn you that many of you will think that it’s extreme, restrictive and many of you will be likely to say, „Well, that’s easy for you to say since you’re married now. But, I’m saying it from out of a heart of hurt from past sin, out of a desire for our good, and ultimately out of a desire for what Scripture teaches.

I am indebted here to a good book on this issue ‘Sex, Dating, and Relationship’, by Pastors Gerald Hiestand and Jay Thomas. They observed 42% of single evangelicals- so single evangelicals, Bible believing Christians between the ages of 18 and 29 are currently in a sexual relationship. 22% have had sex in the past year, and an additional 10% have had sex at least once.  Assuming the accuracy of that data, that means only 20% of young Bible believing christians have remained abstinent. They continue on saying the pastoral community must shoulder much of the blame here. Simply put, we pastors are not quite  certain how to counsel single and teens on appropriate sexual boundaries. We either offer subjective biblical standards, like the Bible says, „Be pure,” which can be massaged around like a waxed nose. Or, objective opinion: Keep it above the neck- which lacks any real authority. Singles need an objective Biblical standard of premarital sexual ethics and we pastors are the ones responsible for providing it. So I want to provide it.

The Bible gives us 3 God ordained categories for relationships between men and women. When you look at relationships in the Bible, there are only 3. And all 3 categories have God given standards for sexual activity in them.

  1. First you have the neighbor relationship: sexual activity prohibited.We are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves and in that relationship that we see all over Scripture, sexual relationship is prohibited. The Bible says: If you have a strong sexual desire, then get married. The Bible doesn’t say experiment with your neighbor and then decide whether or not you’re gonna get married.
  2. Then there’s the family relationship; sexual activity prohibited.
  3. The third God ordained category is the marriage relationship between a man and a woman, and there sexual activity is commanded. The Bible commands a man and a woman to be together because that is sexual union, as a sign of the covenant relationship that they have before God. So it’s commanded there.

Now, you put all that together and you realize: God, in His word, has no category for 2 people who aren’t married, but kinda, sorta, in some ways act like they are, particularly sexually. That is not a God ordained category of relationship. There is not one place in this entire book (Bible) where we are ever encouraged to engage in any sexual activity outside of the marriage relationship. Instead, we are discouraged. Remember porneia- meaning sexual immorality, sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman. I would be furious if anyone hugged, or touched my wife in a sexual way, yet many guys don’t have a problem doing any or all of those things with a woman who is not their wife. Which leads me to ask the question: Would it be acceptable for me, as a married man to kiss a woman who is not my wife, to do these things to a woman who is not my wife? And you say, „Of course not.” But, the reality is guys, any single woman that you’re talking with, statistically is going to be somebody’s wife. So, why should you be doing these things with somebody else’s wife? You say, „Well, she might be my wife, she’s gonna be my wife…” and the Bible says: Well, then make her your wife and then kiss her all you want. But aside from that, 1 Corinthians 7 „It is not good for man to have sexual activity with a woman. She is your neighbor and sexual activity is prohibited with your neighbor.

And then you take this a step further, because Scripture takes it further. 1 Timothy 2 Paul tells Timothy to treat older women as mothers and younger women as sisters, in all purity. So follow this, the Bible ties pure treatment of the opposite sex with the picture of the family relationship. So in singleness, single men and women, what does purity looks like with your brother or your sister? There you have it, a standard for purity in your relationship with a single woman in Christ. Absolutely nothing sexual. Why not? Because she’s my sister, and certainly your sister in ChristOr single women, your brother in Christ deserves all the greater purity in Christ than even your own family member does.

So I want to encourage you single men and single women in this room, based on the 3 God ordained relationships in the Bible, I want to encourage you not to do anything sexually with another person who is not your husband or your wife. Looking for a guideline? Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do with your brother or your sister, because any and all sexual activity is for marriage. Regardless whether you are single or married, flee all sexual activity outside of marriage. (46:00) At the 47th minute David Platt talks about masturbation. There are 24 minutes left from this message.

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David Platt – The Cross and Christian Sexuality (Part 1 of 2)

You can print out and follow along with the sermon notes here (4 pages) – www.radical.net/files/2650/MN_130630_c.pdf

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 – Sexual Immorality

12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”[b] 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.[c]

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

At the 21st minute Platt talks about God’s design for our bodies, particularly sexually, how God has designed sex. He also recommends a thick book, a theology of sexuality, titled ‘True Sexual Morality’ by Daniel Heimbach. What is God’s design?

  1. Sex is relational- the two become one flesh
  2. Sex is covenantal – something you participate with the wife of your youth. Sex is only celebrated, it’s only advocated in the Bible, in the context of exclusive covenant relationship between a husband and wife. There is no other kind of sex that is ever celebrated in the Bible.
  3. Sex is intimate. It’s obviously physical, yet deeply spiritual. It literally draws a woman and a man so close that nothing comes between them. Nothing divides them, nothing separates them. Sex is a powerful picture of personal intimacy.
  4. Sex is fruitful. Sex is productive.
  5. Sex is what leads men and women to multiply.
  6. Sex is selfless, not self centered. Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
  7. Sex is complex. It involves the mind, the body and the soul.

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The kind of preaching that encourages you to sin

This post by Jared C. Wilson, over at the Gospel Coalition is meant to be read by pastors/preachers. But, I always like to read articles like this from the listener’s perspective- myself. So, please read on, even if you are not a preacher/pastor. I have included each of Jared’s points, but you will have to click on the post to see the explanation for each one:

  1. Preaching even a “positive” practical message with no gospel-centrality amounts to preaching the law.
  2. The message of the law unaccompanied by and untethered from the central message of the gospel condemns us.
  3. Therefore, a steady dose of gospel-deficient practical preaching doesn’t make Christians more empowered, more effective, but more discouraged, less empowered.
  4. The Bible goes further to suggest, actually, that without the gospel of Christ’s finished work, the preaching of the law of works serves to exacerbate disobedience.
  5.  The law brings death
  6. The preaching of Christless, gospel-deficient practical sermons increases self-righteousness.

Read the entire article over at the Gospel Coalition (Photo credit thegospelcoalition.org)

How & When do we get Freedom from the (1) Guilt of sin (2) Power of sin (3) Presence of sin?

Justification,sanctification,glorification from Gospel Coalition

Seminary Professor AUGUSTUS NICODEMUS GOMES LOPES explains:

  1. The first step, justification, is an act of God whereby he considers us righteous on the merits of his Son. It’s a legal declaration made once for all, and it is the basis for all that follows.
  2. The second step, sanctification, is our deliverance from sin’s power. This process begins after justification and continues our entire life. Sanctification does not entail complete eradication of our fallen nature, but it does help to subdue and slay it. This is the stage of salvation in which all Christians presently live. The Lord provides us means of grace like biblical meditation, prayer, and fellowship with other believers to harness the Spirit’s sanctifying power. It’s also vital to pray specifically for the spiritual fruit of self-control. This fight is a fierce and seemingly endless struggle, but the fight itself is not sin. Temptation only becomes sin when we yield to it. Victory, however, comes when we say „no,” hour after hour, by the Spirit’s power.
  3. The final step, glorification, is our ultimate freedom from sin’s indwelling presence. It will occur when we die or when our King returns. There will be a resurrection of the dead and a transformation of believers still alive. All God’s children will become like God’s Son in immaculate, immortal, imperishable, glorified bodies.

Source: The Gospel Coalition

Spurgeon – Secret Sins

spurgeon-preachingIn this sermon, Spurgeon strives to show the folly of secret sins; secondly, the misery of secret sins; thirdly, the guilt of secret sins; fourthly, the danger of secret sins; and then he says, „I shall try to apply some words by way of remedy, that we may all of us be enabled to avoid secret sins.”

Here is a glimpse into what Spurgeon thought about secret sins:

Now, I hold that secret sin, if anything, is the worst of sin; because secret sin implies that the man who commits it has Atheism in his heart. You will ask how that can be. I reply, he may be a professing Christian, but I shall tell him to his face that he is a practical Atheist, if he labours to keep up a respectable profession before man, and then secretly transgresses. Why, is he not an Atheist, who will say there is a God, yet at the same time thinks more of man than he does of God? Is it not the very essence of Atheism—is it not a denial of the divinity of the Most High when men lightly esteem him and think more of the eye of a creature than of the observation of their Creator?

Photo credit fishforpeople.tumblr.com

February 8, 1857  Sermon #116 from http://www.spurgeon.org

„Cleanse thou me from secret faults.—Psalm 19:12.

SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS arises partly from pride but mainly from ignorance of God’s law. It is because men know little or nothing concerning the terrible character of the divine law, that they foolishly imagine themselves to be righteous. They are not aware of the deep spirituality, and the stern severity of the law, or they would have other and wiser notions. Once let them know how strictly the law deals with the thoughts, how it brings itself to bear upon every emotion of the inner man, and there is not one creature beneath God’s heaven who would dare to think himself righteous in God’s sight in virtue of his own deeds and thoughts. Only let the law be revealed to a man; let him know how strict the law is, and how infinitely just, and his self-righteousness will shrivel into nothing—it will become a filthy rag in his sight, whereas before he thought it to be a goodly garment.
Now, David, having seen God’s law, and having praised it in this Psalm, which I have read in your hearing, he is brought, by reflecting on its excellency, to utter this thought, „Who can understand his errors?” and then to offer this prayer, „Cleanse thou me from secret faults.”

In the Lateran Council of the Church of Rome, a decree was passed that every true believer must confess his sins, all of them, once a year to the priest, and they affixed to it this declaration, that there is no hope of pardon but in complying with that decree. What can equal the absurdity of such a decree as that? Do they suppose that they can tell their sins as easily as they can count their fingers? Why, if we could receive pardon for all our sins by telling every sin we have committed in one hour, there is not one of us who would be able to enter heaven, since, besides the sins that are known to us and that we may be able to confess, there are a vast mass of sins, which are as truly sins as those which we do observe, but which are secret, and come not beneath our eye. Oh! if we had eyes like those of God, we should think very differently of ourselves. The sins that we see and confess are but like the farmer’s small samples which he brings to market, when he has left his granary full at home. We have but a very few sins which we can observe and detect, compared with those which are hidden to ourselves and unseen by our fellow creatures. I doubt not it is true of all of us who are here, that in every hour of our existence in which we are active, we commit tens of thousands of unholinesses for which conscience has never reproved us, because we have never seen them to be wrong, seeing we have not studied God’s laws as we ought to have done. Now, be it known to us all that sin is sin, whether we see it or not—that a sin secret to us is a sin as truly as if we knew it to be a sin, though not so great a sin in the sight of God as if it had been committed presumptuously, seeing that it lacks the aggravation of willfulness. Let all of us who know our sins, offer this prayer after all our confessions: „Lord, I have confessed as many as I know, but I must add an etcetera after them, and say, ‘Cleanse thou me from secret faults.'”

That, however, will not be the pith of my sermon this morning. I am going after a certain class of men who have sins not unknown to themselves, but secret to their fellow creatures. Every now and then we turn up a fair stone which lies upon the green sward of the professing church, surrounded with the verdure of apparent goodness, and to our astonishment we find beneath it all kinds of filthy insects and loathsome reptiles, and in our disgust as such hypocrisy, we are driven to exclaim, „All men are liars; there are none in whom we can put any trust at all.” It is not fair to say so of all; but really, the discoveries which are made of the insincerity of our fellow-creatures are enough to make us despise our kind, because they can go so far in appearances, and yet have so little soundness of heart. To you, sirs, who sin secretly, and yet make a profession; you break God’s covenants in the dark and wear a mask of goodness in the light—to you, sirs, who shut the doors and commit wickedness in secret—to you I shall speak this morning. O may God also be pleased to speak to you, and make you pray this prayer: „Cleanse thou me from secret faults.”

I shall endeavour to urge upon all pretenders present to give up, to renounce, to detest, to hate, to abhor all their secret sins. And, first, I shall endeavour to show the folly of secret sins; secondly, the misery of secret sins; thirdly, the guilt of secret sins; fourthly, the danger of secret sins; and then I shall try to apply some words by way of remedy, that we may all of us be enabled to avoid secret sins.

I. First, then, THE FOLLY OF SECRET SINS.

Pretender, thou art fair to look upon; thy conduct outwardly upright, amiable, liberal, generous and Christian; but thou dost indulge in some sin which the eye of man has not yet detected. Perhaps it is private drunkenness. Thou dost revile the drunkard when he staggers through the street; but thou canst thyself indulge in the same habit in private. It may be some other lust or vice; it is not for me just now to mention what it is. But, pretender, we say unto thee, thou art a fool to think of harbouring a secret sin; and thou art a fool for this one reason, that thy sin is not a secret sin; it is known, and shall one day be revealed; perhaps very soon. Thy sin is not a secret; the eye of God hath seen it; thou hast sinned before his face. Thou hast shut-to the door, and drawn the curtains, and kept out the eye of the sun, but God’s eye pierceth through the darkness; the brick walls which surrounded thee were as transparent as glass to the eye of the Almighty; the darkness which did gird thee was as bright as the summer’s noon to the eye of him who beholdeth all things. Knowest thou not, O man, that „all things are naked and open to the eyes of him with whom we have to do?” As the priest ran his knife into the entrails of his victim, discovered the heart and liver, and what else did lie within, so art thou, O man, seen by God, cut open by the Almighty; thou hast no secret chamber where thou canst hide thyself; thou hast no dark cellar where thou canst conceal thy soul. Dig deep, ay, deep as hell, but thou canst not find earth enough upon the globe to cover thy sin; if thou shouldst heap the mountains on its grave, those mountains would tell the tale of what was buried in their bowels. If thou couldst cast thy sin into the sea, a thousand babbling waves would tell the secret out. There is no hiding it from God. Thy sin is photographed in high heaven; the deed when it was done was photographed upon the sky, and there it shall remain, and thou shalt see thyself one day revealed to the gazing eyes of all men, a hypocrite, a pretender, who didst sin in fancied secret, observed in all thine acts by the all-seeing Jehovah. O what fools men are, to think they can do anything in secret. This world is like the glass hives wherein bees sometimes work: we look down upon them, and we see all the operations of the little creatures. So God looketh down and seeth all. Our eyes are weak; we cannot look through the darkness; but his eye, like an orb of fire, penetrateth the blackness; and readeth the thoughts of man, and seeth his acts when he thinks himself most concealed. Oh; it were a thought enough to curb us from all sin, if it were truly applied to us—”Thou, God, seest me!” Stop thief! Drop thou that which thou hast taken to thyself. God seeth thee! No eye of detection on earth hath discovered thee, but God’s eyes are now looking through the clouds upon thee. Swearer! scarce any for whom thou carest heard thy oath; but God heard it; it entered into the ears of the Lord God of Sabbaoth. Ah! thou who leadest a filthy life, and yet art a respectable merchant bearing among men a fair and goodly character; thy vices are all known; written in God’s book. He keepeth a diary of all thine acts; and what wilt thou think on that day when a crowd shall be assembled, compared with which this immense multitude is but a drop of a bucket, and God shall read out the story of thy secret life, and men and angels shall hear it. Certain I am there are none of us who would like to have all our secrets read, especially our secret thoughts. If I should select out of this congregation the most holy man, should bring him forward and say, „Now, sir, I know all your thoughts, and am about to tell them,” I am sure he would offer me the largest bribe that he could gather if I would be pleased to conceal at least some of them. „Tell,” He would say, „of my acts; of them I am not ashamed; but do not tell my thoughts and imaginations—of them I must ever stand ashamed before God.” What, then, sinner, will be thy shame when thy privy lusts, thy closet transgressions, thy secret crimes shall be gazetted from God’s throne, published by his own mouth, and with a voice louder than a thousand thunders preached in the ears of an assembled world? What will be thy terror and confusion then, when all the deeds thou hast done shall be published in the face of the sun, in the ears of all mankind. O renounce the foolish hope of secresy, for thy sin is this day recorded, and shall one day be advertised upon the walls of heaven. Photo credit below revivenations.org

II. In the next place, let us notice THE MISERY OF SECRET SINS.

Of all sinners the man who makes a profession of religion, and yet lives in iniquity, is the most miserable. A downright wicked man, who takes a glass in his hand, and says, „I am a drunkard, I am not ashamed of it,” he shall be unutterably miserable in worlds to come, but brief though it be, he has his hour of pleasure. A man who curses and swears, and says, „That is my habit, I am a profane man,” and makes a profession of it, he has, at least, some peace in his soul; but the man who walks with God’s minister, who is united with God’s Church, who comes out before God’s people, and unites with them, and then lives in sin, what a miserable existence he must have of it! Why, he has a worse existence than the mouse that is in the parlour, running out now and then to pick up the crumbs, and then back again to his hole. Such men must run out now and then to sin; and oh! how fearful they are to be discovered! One day, perhaps, their character turns up; with wonderful cunning they manage to conceal and gloss it over; but the next day something else comes, and they live in constant fear, telling lie after lie, to make the last lie appear truthful, adding deception to deception, in order that they may not be discovered.

„Oh! ‘tis a tangled web we weave,
When once we venture to deceive.”

If I must be a wicked man, give me the life of a roystering sinner, who sins before the face of day; but, if I must sin, let me not act as a hypocrite and a coward; let me not profess to be God’s, and spend my life for the devil. That way of cheating the devil is a thing which every honest sinner will be ashamed of. He will say, „Now, if I do serve my master I will serve him out and out, I will have no sham about it; if I make a profession, I will carry it out; but if I do not, if I live in sin, I am not going to gloss it over by cant and hypocrisy.” One thing which has hamstringed the church, and cut her very sinews in twain, has been this most damnable hypocrisy. Oh! in how many places have we men whom you might praise to the very skies, if you could believe their words, but whom you might cast into the nethermost pit if you could see their secret actions. God forgive any of you who are so acting! I had almost said, I can scarce forgive you. I can forgive the man who riots openly, and makes no profession of being better, but the man who fawns, and cants, and pretends, and prays, and then lives in sin, that man I hate, I cannot bear him, I abhor him from my very soul. If he will turn from his ways, I will love him, but in his hypocrisy he is to me the most loathsome of all creatures. ‘Tis said the toad doth wear a jewel in her head, but this man hath none, but beareth filthiness about him, while he pretends to be in love with righteousness. A mere profession, my hearers, is but painted pageantry to go to hell in; it is like the plumes upon the hearse and the trappings upon the black horses which drag men to their graves, the funeral array of dead souls. Take heed above everything of a waxen profession that will not stand the sun; take care of a life that needs to have two faces to carry it out; be one thing, or else the other. If you make up your mind to serve Satan, do not pretend to serve God; and if you serve God, serve him with all your heart. „No man can serve two masters;” do not try it, do not endeavour to do it, for no life will be more miserable than that. Above all, beware of committing acts which it will be necessary to conceal. There is a singular poem by Hood, called „The Dream of Eugene Aram”—a most remarkable piece it is indeed, illustrating the point on which I am now dwelling. Aram has murdered a man and cast his body into the river—”a sluggish water, black as ink, the depth was so extreme.” The next morning he visited the scene of his guilt:

„And sought the black accursed pool,
With a wild misgiving eye;
And he saw the dead in the river bed,
For the faithless stream was dry.”

Next he covered the corpse with heaps of leaves, but a mighty wind swept through the wood and left the secret bare before the sun:

„Then down I cast me on my face,
And first began to weep,
For I knew my secret then was one
The earth refused to keep;
On land or sea though it should be
Ten thousand fathoms deep.”

In plaintive notes he prophesies his own discovery. He buried his victim in a cave, and trod him down with stones, but when years had run their weary round the foul deed was discovered and the murderer put to death.

Guilt is a „grim chamberlain,” even when his fingers are not bloody red. Secret sins bring fevered eyes and sleepless nights, until men burn out their consciences, and become in very deed ripe for the pit. Hypocrisy is a hard game to play at, for it is one deceiver against many observers; and for certain it is a miserable trade, which will earn at last, as its certain climax, a tremendous bankruptcy. Ah! ye who have sinned without discovery, „Be sure your sin will find you out;” and bethink you, it may find you out ere long. Sin, like murder, will come out; men will even tell tales about themselves in their dreams. God has sometimes made men so pricked in their consciences that they have been obliged to stand forth and confess the story. Secret sinner! If thou wantest the foretaste of damnation upon earth, continue in thy secret sins; for no man is more miserable than he who sinneth secretly, and yet trieth to preserve a character. Yon stag, followed by the hungry hounds, with open mouths, is far more happy than the man who is followed by his sins. Yon bird, taken in the fowler’s net, and labouring to escape, is far more happy than he who hath weaved around himself a web of deception, and labours to escape from it day by day by making the toils more thick and the web more strong. Oh! the misery of secret sins! Truly, one may pray, „Cleanse thou me from secret faults.” (Photo credit below hannapot.wordpress.com)

III. But now, next, the guilt THE SOLEMN GUILT OF SECRET SIN.

Now, John, you do not think there is any evil in a thing unless somebody sees it, do you? You feel that it is a very great sin if your master finds you out in robbing the till—but there is no sin if he should not discover it—none at all. And you, sir, you fancy it to be very great sin to play a trick in trade, in case you should be discovered and brought before the court; but to play a trick and never be discovered, that is all fair—do not say a word about it Mr. Spurgeon, it is all business; you must not touch business; tricks that are not discovered, of course you are not to find fault with them. The common measure of sin is the notoriety of it. But I do not believe in that. A sin is a sin, whether done in private or before the wide world. It is singular how men will measure guilt. A railway servant puts up a wrong signal, there is an accident; the man is tried, and severely reprimanded. The day before he put up the wrong signal, but there was no accident, and therefore no one accused him for his neglect. But it was just the same, accident or no accident, the accident did not make the guilt, it was the deed which made the guilt, not the notoriety nor yet the consequence of it. It was his business to have taken care; and he was as guilty the first time as he was the second, for he negligently exposed the lives of men. Do not measure sin by what other people say of it; but measure sin by what God says of it, and what your own conscience says of it.

Now, I hold that secret sin, if anything, is the worst of sin; because secret sin implies that the man who commits it has Atheism in his heart. You will ask how that can be. I reply, he may be a professing Christian, but I shall tell him to his face that he is a practical Atheist, if he labours to keep up a respectable profession before man, and then secretly transgresses. Why, is he not an Atheist, who will say there is a God, yet at the same time thinks more of man than he does of God? Is it not the very essence of Atheism—is it not a denial of the divinity of the Most High when men lightly esteem him and think more of the eye of a creature than of the observation of their Creator? There are some who would not for the life of them say a wicked word in the presence of their minister, but they can do it, knowing God is looking at them. They are Atheists. There are some who would not trick in trade for all the world if they thought they would be discovered, but they can do it while God is with them; that is, they think more of the eye of man than of the eye of God; and they think it worse to be condemned by man than to be condemned by God. Call it by what name you will, the proper name of that is practical Atheism. It is dishonoring God; it is dethroning him; putting him down below his own creatures; and what is that, but to take away his divinity? Brethren, do not, I beseech you, incur the fearful guilt of secret sins. No man can sin a little in secret, it will certainly engender more sin; no man can be a hypocrite and yet be moderate in guilt; he will go from bad to worse, and still proceed, until when his guilt shall be published, he shall be found to be the very worst and most hardened of men. Take heed of the guilt of secret sin. AH, now if could I preach as Rowland Hill did, I would make some people look to themselves at home, and tremble too! It is said that when he preached, there was not a man in the window, or standing in the crowd, or perched up anywhere, but said, „There, he is preaching at me; he is telling me about my secret sins.” And when he proclaimed God’s omniscience, it is said men would almost think they saw God bodily present in the midst of them looking at them. And when he had done his sermon, they would hear a voice in their ears, „Can any hide himself in secret places that I cannot see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” I would I could do that; that I could make every man look to himself, and find out his secret sin. Come my hearer, what is it? Bring it forth to the daylight; perhaps it will die in the light of the sun. These things love not to be discovered. Tell thine own conscience, now, what it is. Look it in the face; confess it before God, and may he give thee grace to remove that sin and every other, and turn to him with full purpose of heart! But this know—that thy guilt is guilt discovered or undiscovered, and that if there be any difference it is worse, because it has been secret. God save us from the guilt of secret sin! „Cleanse thou me from secret faults.” Photo credit http://www.shimmerzineff.webs.com

IV. And note, next, THE DANGER OF SECRET SIN.

One danger is, that a man cannot commit a little sin in secret, without being by-and-by betrayed into a public sin. You cannot, sir, though you may think you can preserve a moderation in sin. If you commit one sin, it is like the melting of the lower glacier upon the Alps; the others must follow in time. As certainly as you heap one stone upon the cairn to-day, the next day you will cast another, until the heap, reared stone by stone, shall become a very pyramid. See the coral insect at work, you cannot decree where it shall stay its work. It will not build its rock just as high as you please, it will not stay until it shall be covered with weeds, until the weeds shall decay; and there shall be soil upon it, and an island shall be created by tiny creatures. Sin cannot be held in with bit and bridle. „But I am going to have a little drink now and then, I am only going to be intoxicated once a week or so. Nobody will see it; I shall be in bed directly.” You will be drunk in the streets soon. „I am only just going to read one lascivious book; I will put it under the sofa-cover when any one comes in.” You will keep it in your library yet, sir. „I am only going into that company now and then.” You will go there every day, such is the bewitching character of it; you cannot help it. You may as well ask the lion to let you put your head into his mouth. You cannot regulate his jaws: neither can you regulate sin. Once go into it, you cannot tell when you will be destroyed. You may be such a fortunate individual, that like Van Amburgh you may put your head in and out a great many times; reset assured that one of these days it will be a costly venture. Again, you may labour to conceal your vicious habit, but it will come out, you cannot help it. You keep your little pet sin at home; but mark this, when the door is ajar the dog will be out in the street. Wrap him up in your bosom, put over him fold after fold of hypocrisy to keep him secret, the wretch will be singing some day when you are in company; you cannot keep the evil bird still. Your sin will gad abroad; and what is more, you will not mind it some of these days. A man who indulges in sin privately, by degrees gets his forehead as hard as brass. The first time he sinned, the drops of sweat stood on his brow at the recollection of what he had done; the second time, no hot sweat on his brow, only an agitation of the muscle; the third time there was the sly, sneaky look, but no agitation; the next time, he sinned a little further; and by degrees he became the bold blasphemer of his God, who exclaimed, „Who am I that I should fear Jehovah, and who is he that I should serve him?” Men go from bad to worse. Launch your boat in the current—it must go where the current takes it. Put yourself in the whirlwind—you are but a straw in the wind: you must go which way the wind carries you—you cannot control yourself. The balloon can mount, but it cannot direct its course; it must go whichever way the wind blows. If you once mount into sin there is no stopping. Take heed if you would not become the worst of characters, take heed of the little sins, they, mounting one upon another, may at last heave you from the summit and destroy your soul for ever. There is a great danger in secret sins.

But I have here some true Christians who indulge in secret sins. They say it is but a little one, and therefore do they spare it. Dear brethren, I speak to you, and I speak to myself, when I say this—let us destroy all our little secret sins. They are called little and if they be, let us remember that it is the foxes, even the little foxes, that spoil our vines; for our vines have tender shoots. Let us take heed of our little sins. A little sin, like a little pebble in the shoe, will make a traveller to heaven walk very wearily. Little sins, like little thieves, may open the door to greater ones outside. Christians, recollect that little sins will spoil your communion with Christ. Little sins, like little stains in silk, may damage the fine texture of fellowship; little sins, like little irregularities in the machinery, may spoil the whole fabric of your religion. The one dead fly spoileth the whole pot of ointment. That one thistle may seed a continent with noxious weeds. Let us, brethren, kill our sins as often as we can find them. One said—”The heart is full of unclean birds; it is a cage of them.” „Ah, but,” said another divine, „you must not make that an apology, for a Christian’s business is to wring their necks.” And so it is; if there be evil things, it is our business to kill them. Christians must not tolerate secret sins. We must not harbour traitors; it is high treason against the King of Heaven. Let us drag them out to light, and offer them upon the altar, giving up the dearest of our secret sins at the will and bidding of God. There is a great danger in a little secret sin; therefore avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it and shun it; and God give thee grace to overcome it!

V. And now I come, in finishing up, to plead with all my might with some of you

whom God has pricked in your consciences. I have come to intreat you, if it be possible, even to tears, that you will give up your secret sins. I have one here for whom I bless God; I love him, though I know him not. He is almost persuaded to be a Christian; he halteth between two opinions; he intendeth to serve God, he striveth to give up sin, but he findeth it a hard struggle, and as yet he knoweth not what shall become of him. I speak to him with all love: my friend, will you have your sin and go to hell, or leave your sin and go to heaven? This is the solemn alternative: to all awakened sinners I put it; may God choose for you, otherwise I tremble as to which you may choose. The pleasures of this life are so intoxicating, the joys of it so ensnaring, that did I not believe that God worketh in us to will and to do, I should despair of you. But I have confidence that God will decide the matter. Let me lay the alternative before you:—on the one hand there is a hour’s merriment, a short life of bliss, and that a poor, poor bliss; on the other hand, there is everlasting life and eternal glory. On the one hand, there is a transient happiness, and afterwards overwhelming woe; in this case there is a solid peace and everlasting joy, and after it overflowing bliss. I shall not fear to be called an Arminian, when I say, as Elijah did, „Choose you this day whom you will serve. If God be God, serve him; if Baal be God serve him.” But, now, make your choice deliberately; and may God help you to do it! Do not say you will take up with religion, without first counting the cost of it; remember, there is your lust to be given up, your pleasure to be renounced; can you do it for Christ’s sake? Can you? I know you cannot, unless God’s grace shall assist you in making such a choice. But can you say, „Yes, by the help of God, earth’s gaudy toys, its pomps, pageantries, gewgaws, all these I renounce?—

„These can never satisfy,
Give me Christ or else I die.”

Sinner, thou wilt never regret that choice, if God help thee to make it; thou wilt find thyself a happy man here, and thrice happy throughout eternity.

„But,” says one, „Sir, I intend to be religious, but I do not hold with your strictness.” I do not ask you to do so; I hope, however, you will hold withGod’s strictness, and God’s strictness is ten thousand times greater than mine. You may say that I am puritanical in my preaching; God will be puritanical in judging in that great day. I may appear severe, but I can never be so severe as God will be. I may draw the harrow with sharp teeth across your conscience, but God shall drag harrows of eternal fire across you one day. I may speak thundering things! God will not speak them, but hurl them from his hands. Remember, men may laugh at hell, and say there is none; but they must reject their Bibles before they can believe the lie. Men’s consciences tell them that

„There is a dreadful hell,
And everlasting pains;
Where sinners must with devils dwell,
In darkness, fire and chains.”

Sirs, will ye keep your secret sins, and have eternal fire for them? Remember it is of no use, they must all be given up, or else you cannot be God’s child. You cannot by any means have both; it cannot be God and the world, it cannot be Christ and the devil; it must be one or the other. Oh! that God would give you grace to resign all; for what are they worth? They are your deceivers now, and will be your tormentors for ever. Oh! that your eyes were open to see the rottenness, the emptiness and trickery of iniquity. Oh! that God would turn you to himself. Oh! may God give you grace to cross the Rubicon of repentance at this very hour; to say, „Henceforth it is war to the knife with my sins; not one of them will I willingly keep, but down with them, down with them; Canaanite, Hittite, Jebusite, they shall all be driven out.”

„The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be;
Help me to tear it from its throne,
And worship only thee.”

„But oh! sir, I cannot do it; it would be like pulling my eyes out.” Ay, but hear what Christ says: „It were better for thee to enter into life with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.” „But it would be like cutting my arms off.” Ay, and it would be better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, than to be cast into hell fire for ever. Oh! when the sinner comes before God at last, do you think he will speak as he does now? God will reveal his secret sins: the sinner will not then say, „Lord, I thought my secret sins so sweet, I could not give them up.” I think I see how changed it will be then. „Sir” you say now, „you are too strict;” will you say that when the eyes of the Almighty are glowering on you? You say now, „Sir, you are too precise;” will you say that to God Almighty’s face? „Sir, I mean to keep such-and-such a sin.” Can you say it at God’s bar at last? You will not dare to do it then. Ah! when Christ comes a second time, there will be a marvellous change in the way men talk. Methinks I see him; there he sits upon his throne. Now, Caiaphas, come and condemn him now! Judas! comes and kiss him now! What do you stick at, man? Are you afraid of him? Now, Barrabbas! go; see whether they will prefer you to Christ now. Swearer, now is your time; you have been a bold man; curse him to his face now. Now drunkard; stagger up to him now. Now infidel; tell him there is no Christ now—now that the world is lit with lightning and the earth is shaken with thunder till the solid pillars thereof do bow themselves—tell God there is no God now; now laugh at the Bible; now scoff at the minister. Why men, what is the matter with you? Why, can’t you do it? Ah! there you are; you have fled to the hills and to the rocks—”Rocks hide us! mountains fall on us; hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne.” Ah! where are now your boasts, your vauntings, and your glories? Alas! alas! for you, in that dread day of wonders.

Secret sinner, what will then become of thee? Go out of this place unmasked; go out to examine thyself, go out to bend thy knee, go out to weep, go out to pray. God give thee grace to believe! And oh, how sweet and pleasant the thought, that this day sinners have fled to Christ, and men have been born again to Jesus! Brethren, ere I finish, I repeat the words at which so many have cavilled—it is now, or never, it is turn or burn. Solemnly in God’s sight I say it; if it be not God’s truth I must answer for it in the great day of account. Your consciences tell you it is true. Take it home, and mock me if you will; this morning I am clear of your blood: if any seek not God, but live in sin, I shall be clear of your blood in that day when the watchman shall have your souls demanded of him; oh, may God grant that you may be cleared in a blessed manner! When I went down those pulpit stairs a Sabbath or two ago, a friend said to me words which have been in my mind ever since—”Sir, there are nine thousand people this day without excuse in the day of judgment.” It is true of you this morning. If you are damned, it will be not for want of preaching to you, and it shall not be for want of praying for you. God knoweth that if my heart could break of itself, it would, for your souls, for God is my witness, how earnestly I long for you in the bowels of Christ Jesus. Oh, that he might touch your hearts and bring you to him! For death is a solemn thing, damnation is a horrible thing, to be out of Christ is a dreadful thing, to be dead in sin is a terrific thing. May God lead you to view these things as they are, and save you, for his mercy’s sake! „He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved.”

„Lord, search my soul, try every thought;
Though my own heart accuse me not
Of walking in a false disguise,
I beg the trial of thine eyes.Doth secret mischief lurk within?
Do I indulge some unknown sin?
O turn my feet whene’er I stray,
And lead me in thy perfect way.”

Short Biography of C.H. Spurgeon:

spurgeonCharles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon (June 19, 1834 January 31, 1892) was a British Reformed Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the “Prince of Preachers.” In his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times a week at different places. His sermons have been translated into many languages. Spurgeon was the pastor of the New Park Street Chapel in London for 38 years. In 1857, he started a charity organization called Spurgeon’s which now works globally. He also founded Spurgeon’s College, which was named after him after his death.

Spurgeon was a prolific author of many types of works including sermons, an autobiography, a commentary, books on prayer, a devotional, a magazine, and more. Many sermons were transcribed as he spoke and were translated into many languages during his lifetime. Arguably, no other author, Christian or otherwise, has more material in print than C.H. Spurgeon.

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Sin: The Dreadful Deformity of Our Soul

by John Piper Read the entire article here at – Desiring God

5PIPER12xx.jpgSomething terrible and profound happened to all humans when Adam sinned. All except Jesus, that is, “who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Something came into the world that had not been there before — something very powerful and very deadly in everyone of us.

But it was not exactly a “thing.” Yet it was more than the bad things we do. Sin and sinning are not the same. We do sinful things because there is this something in us called “sin.” It is a dreadful and deadly deformity of every one of us.

Consider these amazing statements from the Bible about who you are before and after conversion to Christ.

“All are under sin” (Romans 3:9). “I am sold under sin” (Romans 7:14). “You were onceslaves of sin” (Romans 6:17, 20). In other words, before the power of grace through Christ entered our lives, we were not just tempted by sin, we were ruled by it. Under it. Slaves to it.

So sin was not just what we did. It was the master that governed what we did. It was like a king over a territory. “Sin reigned” (Romans 5:21).

Sin is not just the bad deed and not just the bad desire, it is the doer and the desirer. So when Paul says he often does what he doesn’t want to do, he exclaims, “So it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me” (Romans 7:16–17). Sin is not just the bad deed or desire. It is the dreadfully deep, powerful doer of the deed and the desire.

Yet Paul does not excuse himself. “Wretched man that I am!” (Romans 7:24). Which means that this dreadful, deep, destructive power is who we are apart from Christ. It is not like a virus in me. It is a profound defect of me. The dreadful nature of sin is not just that itindwells me but that it defines me. It is me.

Know this about yourself. Don’t be naïve. Don’t be ignorant of your very nature. How will you worship your Redeemer, if you do not know what he has done for you? How will you pursue righteousness, if you do not know the deepest obstacle?

“Christ has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26; 2 Corinthians 5:21). And when he died, all those who are his died with him and — united to him. “We have been united with him in a death like his” (Romans 6:5). This is what happens through faith in Christ, expressed in baptism.

“Our old self was crucified . . . that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Romans 6:6;Galatians 2:20). That dreadful, desire-producing, deed-producing, me-defining power died when I died with Christ.

––

What then shall we do? “You must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11). In Jesus Christ! “Sin will have no dominion over you, since you are . . .under grace” (Romans 6:14). Once “under sin” as king. Now “under grace” as king — “so that, as sin reigned, . . . grace also might reign” (Romans 5:21).

“Sin will have no dominion over you, since you are . . . under grace” (Romans 6:14). “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God” (Romans 6:22). And it was God himself who freed you. “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart” (Romans 6:17).

It was God who dealt with sin in the death of Christ. It was God who put the monster sin to death. It was God who freed you from sin’s dominion. It is God who reigns over you. And it will be God who daily, through your faith, goes on putting the crucified monster to death (Colossians 3:5). “By the Spirit” you put sin to death (Romans 8:13). We are powerless in ourselves. God is the great sin-destroyer.

Worship him. And in his once-for-all victory over this dreadful deformity of our souls (Hebrews 9:26), do not let the defeated foe reign in your body (Romans 6:12). “Exhort one another every day . . . that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). God has worked a great victory over a great enemy. Live in it.

Al Mohler – A Gospel Centered Response to Homosexuality

MAINTAINING BIBLICAL CONVICTION

IS GOING TO BE A VERY HIGH COST

ALL OF US ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY

Albert Mohler posted an excellent response to the issue of homosexuality here –  http://www.albertmohler.com/2013/07/02/b21-panel-sbc-2013/ During the Baptist 21 Panel at the 2013 Southern Baptist Convention in Houston Mohler was asked about a Christian Gospel-centered response to homosexuality.

I transcribed part of the 8 minute video, starting at around the 2 min mark:

„Homosexuality is a sin that leads to death, along with adultery, along with being disobedient to parents, along with being a gossip… many people in our culture have bought into the lie that their sexual desire is who they are. The reality is that every human being north of puberty is a pervert, in the sense that there isn’t any Christian, or any person we know that is without sexual sin- at least, even if you define that as ‘falling short of the glory of God…. every honest person knows that whether it’s a desire for relational fulfillment or the desire for the fulfillment of the flesh, we have all tried to make of our sexuality something that is basically idolatrous. This is the very point that Paul makes in Romans chapter 1. So we’re talking as sinners to sinners, and we know that.

And yet, those of us who are heterosexual sinners can have a place of wholeness and health in marriage, because the biblical theology of sexuality is entirely derivative of the biblical theology of marriage. And marriage, biblically defined is only one thing, and that is the union of a man and a woman. And Jesus, in the Gospel of Matther says, „It was God’s intention form the beginning that it would be so. So, the Bible authorizes heterosexual sinners to enter into the holy union of marriage. Which is holy, by the way, even if the people in it are unregenerate. It’s a Christian institution given to all. And thus, we can find sexual fulfillment, which is also given with the gift of procreation, which is so clear in the Genesis mandate, that the gift of sexuality  and the gift of marriage were given for the filling of the earth and the multiplication of God’s glory  in the progeny that would come.  

But, around us, we have this sexual liberation that tells people our sexual desires are who we are. We have no way of knowing if there are more people that have in themselves same sex desires, but there certainly is an authorization now to name it, to claim it, and to say, „This is who I am.”  We, as Christians, are gonna be in a tremendously difficult position. Everybody feels it. The younger you are, the more keenly and acutely you know it. Maintaining biblical conviction is going to be a very high cost all of us are going to have to pay.

……

If you tell people that their sin is not sin, then you’re telling them Jesus didn’t have to die for that, and you don’t need a Savior for that. And, as much as that’s true of my pride, and every sin of mine I can list- it’s true for them. And, if I deny that any of my sin is sin, I say, „Jesus didn’t die for that. I don’t need a Savior.” I can’t say that about my sin, or their sin.

By the way, I get asked all the time these days- I just taught a class on this, last week, on Homosexuality and the Gospel. People said, „What about gay people in the church. There aren’t any gay people in the church. There aren’t any adulterers in the church. If 1 Corinthians says, „… such were some of you…” it doesn’t mean that people aren’t struggling with things. But, if you are in union with Christ, you’re not defined by a sin. That’s prior to your conversion. Once you are regenerated, you are gonna struggle.. Paul makes that so candidly clear in Romans chapter 7. But, you are no longer defined by that. Because, if you’re united with Christ, Christ is not that.

WATCH VIDEO HERE :

http://www.albertmohler.com

Is it ever right to be angry at God? John Piper responds

photo via www.123rf.com

„Is it right to express anger at God?”

The question usually arises in times of great suffering and loss. Disease threatens to undo all your dreams. Death takes a precious child from your family. Utterly unexpected desertion and divorce shake the foundations of your world. At these times people can become very angry, even at God.

What is anger? The common definition is: „An intense emotional state induced by displeasure” (Merriam-Webster). But there is an ambiguity in this definition. You can be „displeased” by a thing or by a person. Anger at a thing does not contain indignation at a choice or an act. We simply don’t like the effect of the thing: the broken clutch, or the grain of sand that just blew in our eye, or rain on our picnic. But when we get angry at a person, we are displeased with a choice they made and an act they performed. Anger at a person always implies strong disapproval. If you are angry at me, you think I have done something I should not have done.

This is why being angry at God is never right. It is wrong – always wrong – to disapprove of God for what he does and permits. „Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Genesis 18:25). It is arrogant for finite, sinful creatures to disapprove of God for what he does and permits. We may weep over the pain. We may be angry at sin and Satan. But God does only what is right. „Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments” (Revelation 16:7).

But many who say it is right to be angry with God really mean it is right to express anger at God. When they hear me say it is wrong to be angry with God, they think I mean „stuff your feelings and be a hypocrite.” That’s not what I mean. I mean it is always wrong to disapprove of God in any of his judgments.

But if we do experience the sinful emotion of anger at God, what then? Shall we add the sin of hypocrisy to the sin of anger? No. If we feel it, we should confess it to God. He knows it anyway. He sees our hearts. If anger at God is in our heart, we may as well tell him so, and then tell him we are sorry, and ask him to help us put it away by faith in his goodness and wisdom.

When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, he removed forever the wrath of God from our lives. God’s disposition to us now is entirely mercy, even when severe and disciplinary (Romans 8:1). Therefore, doubly shall those in Christ turn away from the terrible specter of anger at God. We may cry, in agony, „My God, My God, where are you?” But we will follow soon with, „Into your hands I commit my spirit.”

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE- http://crossmap.christianpost.com

Why is God just to punish Jesus for our sins John Piper

The following is an edited transcript of the audio.

Why is God just to punish Jesus for our sins when doing a similar thing would be so unjust for a human judge to do?

5PIPER12xx.jpgVery good question.

When Jesus died, he said, „Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son and glorify yourself.” And the Father came back and said, „I have glorified it [my name], and I will glorify it again.”

The way to understand Jesus’ substitutionary death under God’s wrath is that he is doing it in such a way as to glorify or magnify the infinite worth of the glory of God.

God’s glory has been trampled by people like us. Every time we prefer something to the glory of God, we demean the glory of God. And we do it every day.

Since his glory has been impugned and belittled, he has to exalt his glory by punishing sinners and saying, „My glory is infinitely valuable. If you trample my glory, you lose glory. And I restore my glory by your losing glory.”

Jesus enters in and he is able to do what no human could do. This is why there is a difference. No human ever could do this in a court of law. He is so perfect and he suffers so much, and his motives are so Godward, that when he dies on the cross, what is manifest is, „Look how valuable the glory of God is!”

If a mom stepped forward in a courtroom and said, „Let me take my son’s place. Let me take my son’s place, please.” We all know that would be unjust. She goes to the electric chair, and this son goes on to sin more.

The two differences are

  1. She’s not doing that to magnify the worth of the state—God. She’s doing it to magnify the worth of her son, and that’s not what’s happening at the cross.
  2. She’s freeing the son, untransformed, to go into the world and sin some more.

And those are the very two things that are different about the death of Jesus.

  1. Jesus dies not to magnify the sinner’s worth, but to magnify God’s worth.
  2. And he dies and changes those who escape from hell. He doesn’t just release more sin upon the world. He puts the Holy Spirit in our lives and begins to transform us into the image of Christ so that we bring more glory to the Father than if we had been left in our sin.

By John Piper. ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org

Thank God for restraining grace! Spurgeon

spurgeon-preachingthanks to Gabi Bogdan for this excerpt:

How many saints fall into sins which they have to regret even after conversion, while others are saved from leaving the path of morality to wander in the morass of lust and crime! Why, some of us were, by God’s grace, placed in positions were we could not well have been guilty of any gross acts of immorality, even if we had tried. We were so hedged about by guardian-care, so watched and tended on every side, that we should have been dashing our heads against a stone wall if we had run into any great or open sin.

Oh! what a mercy to be prevented from sinning, when God puts chains across the road, digs ditches, makes hedges, builds walls, and says to us, “No, you shall not go that way, I will not let you; you shall never have that to regret; you may desire it, but I will hedge up your way with thorns; you may wish it, but it never shall be yours.”

Beloved, I have thanked God a thousand times in my life, that before my conversion, when I had ill desires I had no opportunities; and on the other hand, that when I had opportunities I had no desires; for when desires and opportunities come together like the flint and steel, they make the spark that kindles the fire, but neither the one nor the other, though they may both be dangerous, can bring about any very great amount of evil so long as they are kept apart.

Let us, then, look back, and if this has been our experience bless the preventing grace of God.

Again, there is another form of grace I must mention, namely, restraining grace. Here, you see, I am making a distinction. There are many who did go into sin; they were not wholly prevented from it, but they could not go as far into it as they wanted to do. There is a young man here to-night—he will say how should I know—well, I do know—there is a young man here tonight who wants to commit a certain sin, but he cannot. Oh! how he wishes to go, but he cannot; he is placed in such a position of poverty that he cannot play the fine gentleman he would like.

There is another; he wants to be dancing at such-and-such a place, but thank God he is lame; there is another, who, if he had had is wish would have lost his soul, but since his blindness has come upon him there is some hope for him. Oh! how often God has thrown a man on a sick bed to make him well! He would have been such as he was even unto death if he had been well, but God has made him sick, and that sickness has restrained him from sin. It is a mercy for some men that they cannot do what they would, and though “to will is present” with them, yet even in sin, “how to perform that which they would they find not.”

Ah! my fine fellow, if you could have had your own way, you would have been at the top of the mountain by now! So you think, but no, you would have been over the precipice long before this if
God had let you climb at all, and so he has kept you in the valley because he has designs of love towards you, and because you shall not sin as others sin.

Divine grace has its hand upon the bridle of your horse. You may spur your steed, and use the lash against the man who holds you back; or perhaps it is a woman, and you may speak bitter words against that wife, that sister, or that mother, whom God has put there to hold you back; but you cannot go on, you shall not go on. Another inch forward and you will be over the precipice and lost, and therefore God has put that hand there to throw your horse back on its haunches, and make you pause, and think, and turn from the error of your ways.

What a mercy it is that when God’s people do go into sin to any extent, he speaks and says, “Hitherto shalt thou go, but no further; here shall thy proud sins be stayed!” There is, then, restraining grace.

Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 11, sermon number 656, „Prevenient grace.”

R.C. Sproul – What Does „Simul Justus et Peccator” Mean?

rc sproul 2via LigonierMinistries

Perhaps the formula that Luther used, that is most famous and most telling at this point is his formula „Simul Justus et Peccator”. If any formula sumarizes and captures the essence of the reformation view, it is this little formula. ‘Simul’ is the word for mwhich we get the English word simultaneously. Or, it means, at the same time. Justus is the latin word for just or righteous. Et means and. Peccator means sinner. And so, with this formula, Luther was saying: In our justification, we are one and the same time righteous or just and sinners.

Now, if he were to say that we are at the same time and in the same relationship just and sinners, that would be a contradiction in terms. But, that’s not what he was saying. He was saying: From one perspective, in one sense, we are just. In another sense, but, different perspective we are sinners.

How he defines that is simple. In, and of ourselves, under the analysis of God’s scrutiny, we still have sin. We’re still sinners. But, by imputation, and by faith in Jesus Christ, whose righteousness is now transferred to our account, then we are considered just, or righteous. This is the very heart of the Gospel. Will I be judged, in order to get into heaven, by my righteousness? Or by the righteousness of Christ? If I had to trust in my righteousness to get into heaven, I would completely and utterly despair of any possibility of ever being redeemed. But when we see that the righteousness that is ours by faith is the perfect righteousness of Christ, then we see how glorious is the good news of the Gospel.

The good news is simply this: I can be reconciled unto God, I can be justified by God, not on the basis of what I did, but on the basis of what’s been accomplished for me by Christ. But, at the heart of the Gospel is a double imputation. My sin is imputed to Jesus. His righteousness is imputed to me. And, in this twi fold transaction, we see that God, who does not negotiate sin, who doesn’t compromise His own integrity with our salvation, but, rather punishes sin fully and really, after it has been imputed to Jesus, retains His own righteousness and ‘HE IS both JUST and THE JUSTIFIER’, the apostle tells us here. So, my sin goes to Jesus, His righteousness comes to me, in the sight of God.

R. C. Sproul – Why don’t Christians care about sin?

from a Ligonier conference-  LigonierMinistries

Alistair Begg responds:

The believer does not understand the notion of Union with Christ.

If we don’t preach the Gospel to ourselves all day, every day, then we will fail in some arena. And one of the areas of failure is a fast lane into antinomianism. So peopele then,  under the disguise of a superabundance of the grace of God answer the question with which Romans 6 begins, and answer it wrongly. „Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” They answer, „Yes.” And off they go. You know- „Shall I take my body and join it to a prostitute?” What kind of question is that? That’s a question for a Christian. Because the Christian has ben united with Christ. The Christian is in union with Christ and  we don’t understand what it means to be united with Christ, then all we’ll be left with is either legalism on the one hand, or lawlessness on the other hand.

It is since then, you have been raised with Christ to seek those things that are above. It is about who you are in Christ, because your nature and your status have been changed, because you’ve been raised to the heavenly places that these things are not impossible, but are now incongruent. And, I think part of the problem is that people do not know who they are in Christ.

R.C. Sproul responds:

I think, also, there’s a hidden premise in the question that can be very distorting. The real question is: Why don’t Christians care about their continuing sin? It is absolutely impossible for a person to be regenerate of the Holy Spirit and not care at all about sin. In that sense, there’s no such thing as „the carnal Christian”, who can receive Christ and be regenerate, and have no repentance. That is impossible. That is as unbiblical as it gets.

But, why don’t we care to the degree we ought to care? We care, but we don’t care enough. And it’s because our hearts are still lust til fully sanctified. And, God the Holy Spirit, in His convicting power has not fully revealed to us the sinfulness of our sin. Exhibit A is David. After his ghastly act of adultery and proxy murder of Uriah was trying to cover it up. Was He was a believing man and he’s down in the dregs of evil, and yet he doesn’t really show a whole lot of concern until God sends that prophet to him and tells him the story. And when the light dawns, when Nathan says, „Thou art the man,” David sees the evil of his sin and writes Psalm 51. Psalm 51 could never have been written by a human being who didn’t care about his sin.

But, here’s the blessing, if God revealed to me right now, the full measure  of the continuing sin in my life, it would destroy me. God is gracious and gentle in correcting us gradually. That is one of the things that is nice about progressive sanctification. Because if He gave it all at one time, we’d be dead.

Doug Wilson – The Nature of National Repentance

Another great sermon from Doug Wilson-

Sermon: The Nature of National Repentance Text: Deu. 26:6-9 Date: 11.18.2012

  • Secularism is a sin. Secularism got established by knocking off the true God for the sake of our neighbor.

REPENTANCE- We have to decide:

Whether to declare it and endure it. We may embrace what God sends to us because He is sovereign and He is good.

There are 3 stark realities before us:

  1. There is no deliverance without Jesus and Jesus must be named, declared and confessed.
  2. There is no deliverance with the sin. Repentance means dropping the sin, letting go of the sin
  3. There are no alternatives. Choose for yourself this day whom you will serve.

Source Link: canonwired.com

Sermon: The Nature of National Repentance from Canon Wired on Vimeo.

God’s design for sex

Al Jackson – Red Hot Monogamy: God’s Design for Sex – Proverbs 5:1-23  Message at 

Preaching from Proverbs 5:1-23, Jackson says that God’s design for sex is that a husband be captivated by the love of his wife and a wife be captivated by the love of her husband.

2 principles from this text:

 Principle #1 – Beware the deadly danger of adultery (vv 1-14).

Solomon is saying to his son, and God is speaking to us today, through Solomon’s writings: Beware of the deadly danger of adultery. It will destroy you.  Professor Garret os Southern Seminary says of verse 3 (For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,) that „the man is drawn to the adulteress because she inflates his ego with hollow praise, in ways his wife will not”.

Verse 5 – Solomon says,  „Her feet go down to death „, her steps lead directly to the grave; she has a pathway  and it’s the pathway of traveling toward sexual immorality. It’s not progress, it’s regress. It’s not upward, but it’s downward. Adultery is a dead end road and it leads always, always, always to pain, grief and sorrow and deep regret. Verse 6 – „She gives no thought to the way of life, her paths are crooked but she knows it not”. She’s an airhead, she doesn’t know about real life. She doesn’t know about joy, about real fulfillment; she’s trying to gratify the desires of her flesh.

In verse 7 –   Solomon is saying: „Listen up, go on the straight and narrow”. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 7? „Narrow is the road that leads to life and few there be that find it. And, broad is the road that leads to destruction and many there be that walk on the broad road that leads to destruction„. In verse 8, Solomon is saying, „Keep your distance from her. Stay away”. Surely, you know, before someone commits adultery they think about it. That’s why Jesus said, „You heard that it was said ‘thou shalt not commit adultery, but, I say to you that a man who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart„. First, it’s in the head before it’s in the bed. First, it’s an emotional attachment before it’s a physical relationship.

Let me give you some early warning signs. Someof you need them right now because you’ve already been tempted.

  1. A growing fascination with that other person. Things are not good at home. The romance has kind of settled down and there’s an emotional distance between you and your spouse. If the devil hasn’t already put old ‘honey lips’ in your path, he will; he wants to bring you down.
  2. A heightened sense of anticipation when you have the opportunity to be with this person. Be careful.
  3. A growing desire to confide in him or her, especially about how bad your marriage is. And when you get there, you’re just about ready to lose it.
  4. Emotional adultery opens the door to physical expressions of adultery. You will pay a high price. See Proverbs 1:9-10 „lest you give your honor to others and your years to the merciless, 10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
    and your labors go to the house of a foreigner”
    There’s a price to pay for sexual immorality- it might be an unwanted pregnancy, a sexually transited disease, or it might be something financial. There’s a high price to pay for a few minutes of sexual gratification

Look at verses 12-14 „and you say, “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof! 13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors. 14 I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.”  I didn’t want somebody to tell me what I could or couldn’t do. I didn’t want that narrow minded, legalistic preacher from Alabama to tell me I couldn’t do these things.  Now, you may cover it up for a while, but, it will be disclosed.

The testimony of the word of God is absolutely sure, „Be sure your sin will find you out„. „Do not be deceived, God is not mocked”. „A man reaps what he sows. He who sows to the sinful nature will reap destruction”.

Please hear my heart this day: Beware, beware the deadly danger of adultery. You are a candidate for adultery, I am a candidate for adultery. Beware! Always keep your guard up. Never, never, never let your guard down. That’s all negative, but, there’s good news. It gets better.

Principle #2 – Rejoice in the delightful pleasure of monogamy

Here I am talking about married monogamy. Solomon is saying here to his son: Beware of adultery, but, rejoice in the delightful pleasure of a monogamous relationship.

Verses 15-16 15 Drink water from your own cistern,  flowing water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? This is a metaphor- cisterns and spring for sexual intercourse. Quoting from Dwayne Garret: The best interpretation is that sprains and streams of water refers to the husband’s sexual affections, as the cistern refers to the sexual affections of his wife. The man should not take his love and desire to anyone else, by going out into the street. The analogy implies that a husband and wife will fill and refresh each other- the one like a flowing stream, the other like a peaceful well. Sexual anarchy results when people cross over the bounds of fidelity.

We live in a society that is characterized by sexual anarchy. And, the Lord’s speaking to us through Solomon today and saying, „Be faithful to your mate”. Drink water from your own cistern, not some other cistern. Verse 17- „Let them be yours alone„. Not someone else’s, yours alone.. „never to be shared with strangers„. First he says it positively „yours alone”, then he says it negatively, „never to be shared with strangers”. The sexual relationship, the sexual expression, God’s intention is that it be expressed between a husband and a wife, and only there. Whenever God says, „Thou shalt not…” it means: Don’t hurt yourself. And when God says, „Thou shalt”, He’s saying, „Let Me bless you”.

Verse 18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. He’s saying, „Be satisfied with the one you’re married to from when you were a young man or a young woman”. Take joy in each other, not in someone else.

Verse 19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love  Captivated is the key word here, by the love of our wife. Not somebody else’s wife, our own wife. Focus on her. Focus on your marriage. Give attention to your sexual expression with your spouse. Make it red hot monogamy.

If you’ll water the grass on your side of the fence, it will be greener than the other side of the fence and the grass on the other side of the fence will not be nearly the temptation it would be if you don’t water the grass on your side of the fence.  Don’t just neglect each other.

Verse 20-21 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? 21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths. You know God sees everything? I don’t have to be anxious that someone sees me because I know I am under the all seeing eye of God. Always! Always!

Verses 22-23 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. 23 He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray. How sad. Die for lack of discipline.

It’s real. Sexual temptation is real. The allure of internet pornography is just a few clicks away. It’s a deadly path. Well, you say, „Brother Al, what can I do? All these women are coming on to me all the time”. Well, what kind of signals are you sending? They don’t come on to me. I have never had a woman come on to me, except for my wife. Be careful what kind of signals you are sending.

Some of you may say, „I’m in an accountability group and I get asked the hard questions week after week, so I’m safe”. I’m all for accountability groups, but that’s no guarantee that you’re safe. Hear my heart on this. I don’t want to seem disrespectful, I have all kinds of groups that I meet with. But, a man who’s in adultery won’t think twice about lying about it. Lying is small stuff compared to adultery.

You say, „What can I do to ensure I won’t have a moral failure?” I don’t know there’s anything you can do to guarantee, but you can certainly do some things that you can make it very very unlikely. I just want to leave you the 2 primary ones that I try to implement in my life and marriage:

  1. Keep the fire of romance burning hot with your spouse. Men, never flirt with another man’s wife and never fail to flirt with your own.
  2. Pursue your love relationship with God with all your heart.

I believe if we are passionately in love with the bride of our youth and cultivate that relationship and fall deeply in love with God and cultivate a deep love relationship with our Savior, it’s not likely we’re gonna succumb. Scripture says, „Be holy as I am holy”. God is a holy God. It’s a high price to pay, to lose the smile of God for a few moments of sexual pleasure. Men, be holy. Be holy. Jesus said, „Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God”. Do you wanna see Him? I wanna see Him. I wanna know Him, I wanna experience Him, I wanna walk with Him, I want His favor. I wanna experience they unless of His power.

God honors personal, practical holiness.

Robert Murray M’Cheyne (Scottish preacher, died at the age of 29) – „Remember you are God’s swordHis instrument—I trust a chosen vessel unto Him to bear His name. In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God.

Guard your heart, cultivate your marriage. Stay in love with Jesus. Our reward is not here, it’s in glory.

 

Al Jackson – Red Hot Monogamy: God’s Design for Sex – Proverbs 5:1-23 from Southeastern Seminary on Vimeo.

Matt Chandler – Holiness Part 3 – The „How” Matters

See Part 1 – Holiness

See Part 2 – Holiness – The Goodness of God

Listen to the audio here- Play Download:MP3

Read the notes from the entire sermon here- http://www.thevillagechurch.net/media/sermons/transcripts

Here’s a few paragraph excerpts from the sermon:

  • So far we’ve answered some pretty big questions. We’ve looked at the holiness of God, who he is, how different he is, what really his holiness is, and then last week we looked at God’s ferocious commitment to making us holy. (See parts 1 & 2). We’ve left some pretty big questions unanswered, and the primary question is how he goes about making us holy.
  • How you understand the process by which you become more and more like Jesus, more and more holy… The more you understand that process correctly, the greater life, freedom, and love for God you’ll have, and the more you misunderstand how that takes place, the more wearying and difficult the Christian life will be to you.  In this great exchange between God and you, the only thing you bring to the table is the sin that makes your salvation necessary. You don’t have the tools or the materials with which to build a house that’s holy. You don’t have them. So if you get away from the One who can build that holy house and try to build it yourself… What the Bible is going to repeatedly tell us is you can’t even make a shack of your own abilities and own efforts. So it’s very important for us to understand how we become holy, so we might walk in the fullness of joy that God has brought for us in our adoption as sons and daughters as he makes us a holy people.
  • The very good news is that God has decreed, chosen, predetermined we would become holy and blameless in his sight. We are going to have a positional holiness before God. We are going to be seen and viewed by God as a holy people. But he still doesn’t say really how he goes about that except that he accomplishes it in Jesus somehow. Ephesians 2:1-10 is going to unpack it more fully. So in Ephesians 2 now, starting in verse 1: „And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience–-among whom we all..
  • Now there are some verses and some ideas in the Bible that seem to strain this idea. They put a lot of strain on it. Let me give you an example of just one. I never want to hide from these kind of verses. I actually want to show you how they would work into the gospel. Hebrews 12, verse 14 simply says, „Strive [struggle, work] for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Here’s what you have to start to do with texts like this. There are a lot like this, even like, „…train yourself for godliness…” You can get into all these texts that seem to put a lot of effort on you in order to become the holiness the Bible just clearly said is actually gifted to you by God alone in Christ. So how do you strive toward the holiness without which no one is going to see the Lord if holiness is a gift of grace through faith? How do you strive for something that’s a free gift? I think here’s how you answer that question in light of the gospel. Let me tell you how you strive for holiness, how you train yourself for godliness, how you pursue righteousness and avoid sinfulness under the banner of the gospel. Here’s how you strive: You strive by faith through grace. If that’s confusing to you let me make it simpler: Fix your eyes on Jesus.
  • So with unveiled faces, you and I now have our eyes fixed on Jesus. We are beholding the glory of the Lord Jesus, and in our beholding of the Lord Jesus we „…are being transformed into the same image…” What’s the image? The image of Jesus, the holiness of God, so that by beholding Jesus we are being transformed into the likeness of Jesus. Look at how this works so we can be patient. „…from one degree of glory to another.” I love that the Bible is so honest about this. As we fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, as we see and savor Jesus, we are transformed from one degree of glory to the next.
  • So how should we fix our eyes on Jesus? Not only is he the founder of my faith, not only is he going to perfect my faith, but look at what in particular we are to look at. „…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Where are our eyes focused? Our eyes are focused on the founder and perfecter of our faith who, filled with joy, died our death and rose from the grave, showing that all of our sin has been paid for. Therefore, to fix our eyes on Jesus Christ is to pursue holiness and to avoid sin.
  • But what ends up happening to many of us is we take our eyes off of Jesus Christ and go, Okay, let me pursue Jesus Christ… I have my eyes off of him, but let me try to pursue him, and then let me try to avoid sin, and honestly, nine times out of ten we reverse those. Let me avoid sin and try to pursue him. But the Bible continually teaches it a completely different way. „Get your eyes on Jesus. Pursue Jesus. Chase after Jesus.” It’s the same thing over and over. I don’t know if you’ve picked up on this yet. I have one sermon. That’s it. One. We just come out of a different text every weekend to preach it. Because this is what we need to be reminded of over and over and over and over and over again, always. You don’t become holy by trying to become holy. You become holy by fixing your eyes on Jesus Christ, and his decree declared holiness over us because of his life, death, and resurrection. He is the founder and he is the perfecter of our faith who died our death and has risen from the grave to prove that he paid the bill in full and has victory over sin and death.
  • Well how do I fix my eyes on Jesus, Matt? How do I fix my eyes on him? How do I look, how do I gaze, how do I behold his glory? Well God has given you all sorts of things to help this. He has given you the Word of God. The Bible is there so you might see who Jesus is, what he’s like, the nature and character of God. He has given you Christian community. He has given you a place like this where we can just come together and we can make much of Jesus. We can talk about him. We can rally. We can celebrate with one another who Jesus is and what he has done. We get to sing to him and sing about him.

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