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James Montgomery Boice

(14 posts)

Assured by God

This drawing is now closed. Is it possible to know for sure that you are saved, that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that you will spend eternity with Christ in Heaven? If so, you want to know, don’t you? Yet, many Christians struggle with doubt concerning their salvation and miss out on the joy God intends for them in knowing their salvation has been secured for them by the blood of Christ. At the same time, many unbelievers have been given a false basis of assurance and believe they are saved when, in fact, they are not. Burk Parsons, along with a distinguished cadre of theologians including R. C. Sproul, Albert Mohler, and John MacArthur, has written an excellent book addressing these concerns in Assured by God: Living in the Fullness of God’s Grace. At only 180 pages, it is a short, easy read, while thoroughly expounding the Biblical basis for assurance of salvation. Would you like to have a copy? Well, you can. Simply email me here, make sure the subject line says “Book Give-away II,” and you’ll be entered in a drawing that will take place the first week in September. I’ll be giving away two copies. You must email me. Entries will not be taken in the comments. Also, I am not able to reply to these emails. If you send your entry, you’ll just have to trust that your name is in the hat. Here is an excerpt to whet your appetite: Biblical Tests of Faith While remembering in our quest for assurance that every Christian remains in this life a redeemed sinner, is it nonetheless possible to test the validity of our profession of faith? The answer is yes. The New Testament presents clear and objective standards as to what constitutes a credible profession of saving faith in Jesus Christ, by which we may become biblically grounded in our assurance of salvation. The apostle John presents three concise tests of our faith in his first epistle, an important aim of which is to help true believers attain to assurance. John writes: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). First is a doctrinal test: true believers see matters of truth in accordance with the teaching of the Bible (2:18–27; 4:1–6). He is concerned in part with heresies current in his own day, against which he asserts the need for believers to receive his apostolic testimony about Jesus: “We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (4:6). The heresies of his day denied the deity of Jesus, so John emphasizes this doctrine: “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also” (2:22–23). In other portions of the Bible we are informed of other doctrines we must believe, including Christ’s substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3–7) and justification through faith alone (Galatians 1:6–9). If we believe the Bible’s teaching about God, Jesus and Salvation, this objectively indicates that we have saving faith, and according to Jesus’s teaching, it is only by the regenerating work of the Spirit that we can “see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Therefore, doctrinal fidelity indicates that Christ’s redeeming work has been applied to our hearts by the ministry of the Spirit. John’s second test of faith is a moral test (1 John 2:3–6; 3:4–10): “Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (2:4–6). Boice explains this: “Simply put, those who know God will increasingly lead righteous lives. It does not mean that they will be sinless. But they will be moving in a direction marked out by the righteousness of God.” Ryle marks moral looseness as another cause of believers lacking assurance: “A vacillating walk, a backwardness to take a bold and decided line, a readiness to conform to the world, a hesitating witness for Christ, a lingering tone of religion, a clinching from a high standard of holiness and spiritual life, all these make up a sure receipt for bringing a blight upon the garden of your soul.” Although our assurance of salvation is grounded not in our spiritual performance but only on the redeeming work of Christ, it is nonetheless God’s design that a lack of godliness will result in a faltering assurance. The Westminster Confession of Faith well states that “true believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as, by negligence in preserving of it; by falling into some special sin, which woundeth the conscience, and grieveth the Spirit” (18:4). This being the case, an incentive for continued growth in godliness is our desire to the joy of assurance that comes through increasing Christ-likeness. The third test of faith is a social test. John mentions this repeatedly in his letter, most notably in 1 John 3:14: “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers.” As Donald Macleod notes, faith in Christ “revolutionizes our social preference. . . . We love our fellow Christians.” For this reason, nurture of Christian fellowship and increased communion in the life of the church is strongly conductive to strengthening our assurance of salvation. These sets of faith are given to inspire assurance in those with credible faith, not to inflict doubt on those with and imperfect faith. John began: “We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete” (1:4). Assurance comes not through faith in our faith but through faith in the Redeemer Jesus Christ. We are bound to follow the apostles’ teachings to examine our faith, but we must do so remembering that while our strongest faith is unable to save us, the weakest faith in Christ grasps a mighty Savior in who we may rest out souls. —Richard D. Phillips, Assured by God (P&R 2006), 83–84.

Features of a Faithful Christian Witness: Manner

Continuing from yesterday’s post on “Three key features of a faithful Christian witness,” Richard D. Phillips writes: Second, what we read about John the Baptist should inform the manner of our witness. John 1:8a says, “He was not the light.” It is important for us to lead lives that commend our witness to Christ, but our testimony can never be based on what good people we are or what we ourselves have to offer non-Christians. When John began his extraordinary ministry, the priests and Levites came out from Jerusalem to inquire about him. “John answered them, ‘I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes back to me, the strap of whose sandle I am not worthy to untie.’” (John 1:26–27). With these words, John deliberately directed them away from himself and what he was doing to Jesus Christ and what He would do. When many Christians give their witness, they talk about themselves. This is why we speak of “giving our testimonies,” that is, telling people about our conversions and how Christ has helped us. There certainly is a placed for testimonies, but they should never form the heart of our witness. I remember seeing an ad in a secular newsmagazine that featured a handsome, smiling young man. It began by talking about his previous problems: He had been into drugs and had been lost and depressed, but now he was clean and fulfilled. The ad was like many Christian testimonies—except that it was on behalf of one of the more bizarre cults spreading today. It is true that cults can help a person get off drugs, but that does not make their beliefs true. Moreover, it is easy for people to brush testimonies aside, saying, “I’m glad it worked for him, but that has on relevance to me” Our witness must center not on our experience but on the facts of Christ’s coming to this world. It is especially important that we never think that what we are doing for Christ is of ultimate importance. James Montgomery Boice warns us, “Whenever a Christian layman, minister, writer, teacher, or whoever it might be, gets to thinking that there is something important about him, he or she will always cease to be effective as Christ’s witness.” We also must never permit people to glorify us for what God has done in our lives. If people notice that you have changed, you should praise God and tell them that it was Jesus’ work, for they will gain what you have, not by admiring you, but only by believing on Jesus. In some cases, redirecting praise in this manner will result in people who previously admired you becoming hostile; the world hated Christ, and it will often hate a faithful witness to Him. But we must accept this risk so as to bear testimony not to ourselves but to Christ. In John 5:35a, Jesus said that John the Baptist “was a burning and shining lamp.” Some Bible versions say that John was a “light,” but the Greek word Jesus used (luxnos) means a candle or a lamp. A lamp does not shine on its own. Its light has to be kindled from another source, and it needs a supply of oil or it will go out. The same is true of us. In our witness, we are to shine not our own light but Christ’s light. Just as a lamp requires oil, we depend on our fellowship with Christ and the Holy Spirit’s enlivening ministry through God’s Word in order that Christ’s light may shine through us. To use a different metaphor, we are the moon reflecting the light of the sun. On our own. we are in darkness, but a great light has shined and is shinning on us, and we are to reflect it into the world. —Richard D. Phillips, Jesus the Evangelist (Reformation Trust Publishing, 2007), 13–15.

Features of a Faithful Christian Witness: Goal

This is the last of “Three key features of a faithful Christian witness” from Jesus the Evangelist. John the Baptist shows the goal of a faithful Christian witness. John “came as a witness . . . that all might believe through him” (John 1:7). Our goal is for others to believe though our witness. Boice writes, “Its is possible for a person to become so mechanical in his witness that he can go through all the motions of witnessing without actually looking and praying for the response to Christ in faith by the other person. If we could remember this, we would find witnessing exciting, and we would learn that winning the argument often becomes far less important than winning the person to the Lord.” Since our goal is to persuade unbelievers and win over sinners, we should labor earnestly in prayer before and after our witness; and we should persist in telling others about Jesus even in the face of hardship and persecution. If we will commit to this pattern of faithful witness, as modeled by John the Baptist, we will find that God will cause people to believe through us. We will have the great joy of being used by the Lord for the salvation of others. —Richard D. Phillips, Jesus the Evangelist (Reformation Trust Publishing, 2007), 15.

God Clothed Them

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21* Steve Lawson comments on the symbolic picture of the future death of Christ for His chosen ones seen in the passage above: The Lord Himself killed an innocent animal and made coverings for the nakedness and guilt of Adam and Eve. This was the first death in Gods newly created worlda slain sacrifice. This animal was killed at the hands of God Himself, and He provided its skin freely for the first couple as an expression of His saving grace. Their garments of skin represented Gods provision for restoring Adams and Eves relationship with Himself. This bloody sacrifice pictured the coming of Christ into the world to redeem His people. Gods Son would be the Lamb of God, who would take away the sin of His people (John 1:29, 36). His sacrifice alone would provide a covering for the exposed nakedness of Adam and Eves guilt. In explaining this substitutionary death, Boice points out that it symbolized the shed blood and perfect righteousness of Christ. Boice writes: In order to make clothes of skin, God had to kill animals. It was the first death Adam and Eve had witnessed, as far as we know. It must have seemed horrible to them and have made an indelible impression. So this is what death is; this is what sin causes, they must have exclaimed. But even more important, the death of the animals must have taught them the principle of substitution, the innocent dying for the guilty, just as the innocent Son of God would one day die for the sins of those God was giving to him. When God clothed our first parents in the animals skins, Adam and Eve must have had at least a first faint glimmer of the doctrine of imputed righteousness. . . . God saved Adam and Eve from their sins by clothing them in the heavenly righteousness of Jesus Christ, which he symbolized by their being clothed with skins of animals. Steve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 64. * Ive covered this before: An Epitome of the Gospel.

Definite Atonement in Numbers

Thursday··2012·08·09 · 2 Comments
The only saving remedy for mans helpless state in sin is the atoning sacrifice of Christ. Upon the cross, the Lord Jesus became sin for His people so that they might receive salvation in Him. This substitutionary death was prefigured in the wilderness in the bronze serpent that God told Moses to make and put upon a pole. It was a saving remedy not intended for the surrounding nations of the world, but exclusively for Israel. If the people of God would look, they would be saved: Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live. So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. Numbers 21:69 By His grace, God provided a saving remedy for the sinning Israelites who had been bitten by the fiery serpents He had sent in His judgment. These poisonous snakes administered a lethal bite that ministered deatha picture of the deadly venom of sin. But God told Moses to make a bronze serpent and place it on a standard. When it was raised up, all who looked to it by faith were saved. According to Christs own words, this bronze serpent was a picture of His vicarious death upon the cross (John 3:1415). It portrayed the necessity of looking to Christ in personal, saving faith for salvation. Seeing this intended connection between the bronze serpent and Christ, James Montgomery Boice writes, In the same way, we are to look to Christs cross. We have been bitten by sin, as they were bitten. We are dying of sin, as they were dying. God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin that we might believe on Him and not perish. . . . This is the heart of Christianity. God has provided salvation for you in Jesus Christ. Upon the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ became sin for all who will believe upon Him. The bronze serpent was not intended for the Canaanites or the Egyptians, who lived and died in unbelief. Rather, it was exclusively for Gods people, who looked and lived. So it is with the death of Christ. He died for His people, for all who would put their trust in Him. Steve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 9293.

Definite Atonement in Isaiah

Christ did not bear unspecified griefs and sorrows; the transgressions and iniquities for which he was killed were not theoretical. He was stricken for the transgression of a particular people. Gods Messiah would die an ignominious substitutionary death under the judgment of God as He bore the sins of the elect. By so doing, He would take away the sins of His people: Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. . . . By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? Isaiah 53:48 Isaiah taught that Christ would bear and absorb Gods wrath for the sins of Gods people. As a result, He would justify them. In Chapter 53, Isaiah was referring to those for whom Christ would die when he used such terms as our (vv. 45), all we (v. 6), us all (v. 6), my people (v. 8), his offspring (v. 10), their (v. 11), the transgressors (v. 12), and many (v. 12). The Messiah was to die for the seed born out of His sacrificethe elect. James Montgomery Boice argues, Isaiah 53:6 says that God laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all. But it is clear from the verse immediately before this that the ones for whom Jesus bore iniquity are those who have been brought to a state of peace with God, that is, those who have been justified (cf. Rom. 5:1). Again, they are those who have been healed (v. 5), not those who continue to be spiritually sick or dead. That is to say, Christ died to redeem the elect of God. Concerning these verses, Luther writes, This states the purpose of Christs suffering. It was not for Himself and His own sins, but for our sins and griefs. He bore what we should have suffered. . . . These words, OUR, US, FOR US, must be written in letters of gold. He who does not believe this is not a Christian. . . . This is the supreme and chief article of faith, that our sins, placed on Christ, are not ours; again, that the peace is not Christs but ours. The exclusive terms Isaiah uses for Gods elect designate the intent and extent of the atonement. Christ died exclusively for the elect of God, not for the entire world. Steve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 178179.

Irresistible Call in Zechariah

This excerpt has, I suppose, something to annoy almost everyone: the Arminian, with its denial of autonomous free will, and the Replacement theologian, with its affirmation of Gods faithfulness to ethnic Israel. What it should provide is great comfort to every Christian, and greater faith in the God who keeps his promises and unfailingly draws his people to himself. Saving grace is always irresistible grace. It is a work of God that inevitably triumphs in the lives of the elect. Zechariah taught that within the nation of Israel, a remnant would be called to faith in Christ and would surely be converted: And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. Zechariah 12:10 Zechariah looked ahead to a time when God would pour out His Spirit upon Israel. In that day, Israel would be brought to deep conviction of its sin, especially the sin of crucifying Christ, Zechariah said. At that time, which is still in the future, there will be a great turning to the Lord. God will do a work of sovereign grace in the hearts of many Jews, with the result that all Israel will be saved (Rom. 11:26)a reference to the vast majority in Israel. God will pour out His Spirit on the house of David, bringing conviction of sin and granting true repentance, so that many will call upon His name with saving faith. In other words, God Himself will overcome the natural inclination of the uncoverted heart, which is not able to seek God in and of itself. Recognizing the absolute certainty of this fulfillment, MacArthur writes, God, in His own perfect time and by His own power, will sovereignly act to save Israel. Boice adds that Israels understanding of Christs crucifixion will come about by the power of Gods Holy Spirit, for it is only as God pours out a spirit of grace and supplication that the repentance and turning depicted in these verses occurs. It is only by the power of Gods Holy Spirit that they occur anywhere or to anyone. It is Gods Spirit who causes unconverted sinners to look to the Savior they have long rejected. This is the basis of every true conversion. Steve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 235.

Definite Atonement: “There is no other position”

Definite Atonement is a difficult doctrine for many to swallow, but it’s a doctrine that logic demands. If Jesus died for all the sins of all men, unbelief included, then all are saved, which the Bible denies. If He died for all the sins of all men, unbelief excluded, then He did not die for all the sins of anybody and all must be condemned. There is no other position, save that He died for the sin of His elect people only. —James Montgomery Boyce, The Doctrines of Grace: Rediscovering the Evangelical Gospel (Crossway Books, 2002), 125. [quoted by Steve Lawson in Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 252.]

Irresistable Call in 1 Peter

The excerpt that follows really ought to go without saying, and for most readers here, it probably does. Yet, among Christians, even those who identify as evangelical and fundamentalist, it represents the minority view. Evangelists like Billy Graham have expended great effort to talk people into making a decision for Christ. The heretic (and all-around oddball) Charles Finney taught that the Bible calls upon [the unregenerate] to repent, to make to themselves a new heart. The result of this, he said, was regeneration. In contrast, the bible teaches that regeneration is wholly an act of God. Peter exulted that all who are chosen and foreknown by the Father are regenerated by the Spirit. The truth of the sinner being caused to be born again is reason for great praise in the heart of every believer: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. . . . You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God. 1 Peter 1:3, 23 The new birth is a work of sovereign grace within the human soul. No one can cause himself to be born physically. Neither can anyone cause himself to be born again spiritually. God, who alone is active in regeneration, must cause the unbelieving sinner to be born again. Boice comments, No one is responsible for his or her physical birth. It is only as a human egg and sperm join, grow, and finally enter this world that birth occurs. The process is initiated and nurtured by the parents. Likewise spiritual rebirth is initiated and nurtured by our heavenly Father and is not our own doing. Regeneration is entirely a divine work of sovereign grace that occurs at the deepest level of ones being. Leighton writes, Natural birth has always been acknowledged as belonging to Gods prerogative: Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him (Psalm 127:3). How much more is the new birth completely dependent on Gods hand! MacArthur adds, The new birth is monergistic; it is a work solely of the Holy Spirit. Sinners do not cooperate in their spiritual births (cf. Eph. 2:110) any more than infants cooperate in their natural births. Jesus told Nicodemus, The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit (John 3:8). Steve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 320321.
Four hundred and ninety-five years ago tomorrow, Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, unintentionally sparking what we now call the Protestant Reformation. The ensuing conflict demonstrated the importance of one little word: alone. But that Reformation did not end with Luther, nor is it over yet. Writing shortly before his death in 2000, James Montgomery Boice noted, Having a high view of God means something more than giving glory to God . . . it means giving glory to God alone. This is the difference between Calvinism and Arminianism. While the former declares that God alone saves sinners, the latter gives the impression that God enables sinners to have some part in saving themselves. Calvinism presents salvation as the work of the triune Godelection by the Father, redemption in the Son, calling by the Spirit. Furthermore, each of these saving acts is directed toward the elect, thereby infallibly securing their salvation. By contrast, Arminianism views salvation as something that God makes possible but that man makes actual. This is because the saving acts of God are directed toward different persons: the Sons redemption is for humanity in general; the Spirits calling is only for those who hear the gospel; narrower still, the Fathers election is only for those who believe the gospel. Yet in none of these cases (redemption, calling, or election) does God actually secure the salvation of even one sinner! The inevitable result is that rather than depending exclusively on divine grace, salvation depends partly on a human response. So although Arminianism is willing to give God the glory, when it comes to salvation, it is unwilling to give Him all the glory. It divides the glory between heaven and earth, for if what ultimately makes the difference between being saved and being lost is mans ability to choose God, then to just that extent God is robbed of His glory. Yet God Himself has said, I will not yield My glory to another (Isa. 48:11). This is why the doctrines of grace are so desperately needed in our churches. They give glory to God alone. They define salvation as being all of God. When salvation is correctly perceived in this way, thenand only thenGod receives all the glory for it. Only sola gratia produces soli Deo Gloria. Steve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 342.

Preserving Grace in 1 Thessalonians

Again, we must insist that when Jesus died on the cross, he made an actual atonement for the actual sin of actual sinners. Paul asserted that all believers are destined to obtain eternal salvation from the wrath of God. This salvation is accomplished through the death of Jesus Christ: For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 1 Thessalonians 5:910 The extent of the atonement is defined here as reaching all believers. The Lord Jesus Christ, Paul wrote, died for us. This first-person plural pronoun is used once in verse 9 and again in verse 10. The first use defines the purpose of the salvation Christ provides. He saves us (all believers) from God Himself, specifically from His wrath. Paul then stated that those who are chosen to be saved (v. 9) are the same people for whom Christ died (v. 10). Jesus Christ died to redeem all who are destined, or chosen, to obtain salvation from Gods wrath. All for whom Christ diedthe electobtain salvation (v. 9) and live together with Him (v. 10). Regarding the definite nature of the atonement, Boice writes, Jesus did not come merely to make salvation possible, but actually to save His people. He did not come to make redemption possible; He died to redeem His people. He did not come to make propitiation possible; He turned aside Gods wrath for each of His elect people forever. He did not come to make reconciliation between God and man possible; He actually reconciled to God those whom the Father had given Him. He did not come merely to make atonement for sins possible, but actually to atone for sinners. . . . Christs work on the cross was not a hypothetical salvation for hypothetical believers, but a real and definite salvation for Gods own chosen people. A redemption that does not redeem, a propitiation that does not propitiate, a reconciliation that does not reconcile, and an atonement that does not atone cannot help anybody. But a redemption that redeems, a propitiation that propitiates, a reconciliation that reconciles, and an atonement that atones reveal a most amazing grace on Gods part and draw us to rest in Him and in His completed work, rather than our own. Steve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 435.

The Spirit Glorifies the Son

Three more quotations on the subordinate ministry of the Holy Spirit, all from Strange Fire (44, 45). The Spirit does not glorify Himself; He glorifies the Son. . . . This is, to me, one of the most amazing and remarkable things about the biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit seems to hide Himself and to conceal Himself. He is always, as it were, putting the focus on the Son, and that is why I believe, and I believe profoundly, that the best test of all as to whether we have received the Spirit is to ask ourselves, what do we think of, and what do we know about, the Son. Is the Son real to us? That is the work of the Spirit. He is glorified indirectly; He is always pointing us to the Son. And so you see how easily we go astray and become heretical if we concentrate overmuch, and in an unscriptural manner, upon the Spirit Himself. Yes, we must realize that He dwells within us, but His work in dwelling within us is to glorify the Son, and to bring to us that blessed knowledge of the Son and of His wondrous love to us. It is He who strengthens us with might in the inner man (Eph. 3:16), that we may know this love, this love of Christ. —D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Great Doctrines of the Bible: God the Holy Spirit (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2003), 2:20; emphasis added. If we are told that the Holy Spirit will not speak of himself but of Jesus, then we may conclude that any emphasis upon the person and work of the Spirit that detracts from the person and work of Jesus Christ is not the Spirit’s doing. In fact, it is the work of another spirit, the spirit of antichrist, whose work is to minimize Christ’s person (1 John 4:2–3). Important as the Holy Spirit is, he is never to preempt the place of Christ in our thinking. —James Montgomery Boice, Foundations of the Christian Faith (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1986) 381. Mark it down: the Spirit glorifies Christ. I’ll go one step further: If the Holy Spirit Himself is being emphasized and magnified, He isn’t in it! Christ is the One who is glorified when the Spirit is at work. He does His work behind the scenes, never in the limelight. —Charles R. Swindoll, Growing Deep in the Christian Life (Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1986), 188.

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Give Praise to God

Give Praise to God Soli Deo Romans 11:33–36 Give praise to God who reigns above for perfect knowledge, wisdom, love; His judgments are divine, devout, His paths beyond all tracing out. Refrain: Come, lift our voice to heav’n’s high throne, and glory give to God alone! No one can counsel God all-wise or truths unveil to His sharp eyes; He marks our paths behind, before; He is our steadfast Counselor. Refrain Nothing exists that God might need, for all things good from Him proceed. We praise Him as our Lord, and yet we never place God in our debt. Refrain Creation, life, salvation too, and all things else both good and true, come from and through our God always, and fill our hearts with grateful praise. Refrain —Hymns to the Living God (Religious Affections Ministries, 2017). The current hymnal for this series is Hymns to the Living God, recently published by Religious Affections Ministries. This is such a good hymnal that I’m pretty sure I could happily post every hymn it contains, but I’ll be limiting selections to hymns I have never posted here before, especially those unfamiliar to me (of which there are many). For more information and to purchase this hymnal, visit Religious Affections Ministries.

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Come to the Waters

Come to the Waters Water of Life Revelation 22 Come to the waters, whoever is thirsty; drink from the Fountain that never runs dry. Jesus, the Living One, offers you mercy, life more abundant in boundless supply. Come to the River that flows through the city, forth from the throne of the Father and Son. Jesus the Savior says, “Come and drink deeply.” life more abundant in boundless supply. Come to the Fountain without any money; buy what is given without any cost. Jesus, the gracious One, welcome the weary; Jesus, the selfless One died for the lost. Come to the Well of unmerited favor; stretch out your hand; fill your cup to the brim. Jesus is such a compassionate Savior. Draw from the grace that flows freely from Him. Come to the Savior, the God of salvation. God has provided an end to sin’s strife. Why will you suffer the Law’s condemnation? Take the free gift of the water of life. —Hymns to the Living God (Religious Affections Ministries, 2017). The current hymnal for this series is Hymns to the Living God, recently published by Religious Affections Ministries. This is such a good hymnal that I’m pretty sure I could happily post every hymn it contains, but I’ll be limiting selections to hymns I have never posted here before, especially those unfamiliar to me (of which there are many). For more information and to purchase this hymnal, visit Religious Affections Ministries.


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