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God Sent Forth His Son… (December 2019 Update)

In Galatians 4:4-6, Paul gives us a summary of the Christmas story: “In the fulness of time, God sent forth His son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His son into your hearts, crying ‘Abba, Father.’” When we think of Christmas, we often turn to familiar stories surrounding the birth of Jesus. But here, Paul reminds us that Christmas is more than just a “babe in a manger.” Continue Reading »

Thankfulness … (November 2019 Update)  

We listen to a lot of old songs in our family. One of our favorites is the soundtrack from “Fiddler on the Roof” (which is actually based on stories Called “Tevye the Milkman” by a Jewish Ukrainian author, Sholem Aleichem). We love all the songs but especially “To Life” (L’Chaim). One verse sums up the biblical attitude toward thankfulness: “God would like us to be joyful even though our hearts lie panting on the floor; How much more can we be joyful, when there’s really something to be joyful for.” 

As believers, we have so much to be thankful for – even when things are not going well. In his book, The Godly Man’s Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil, Thomas Watson says, “Praise and thanksgiving is the work of heaven and he [the godly man] begins that work here which he will always be doing in heaven. The Jews have a saying – the world subsists by three things: the law, the worship of God and thankfulness. As if where thankfulness was missing, one of the pillars of the world had been taken away and it was ready to fall.” The psalmist says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so” (Psalm 107:2) and “it is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord” (Psalm 92:1). As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday in America, it is good for us to think biblically about our thankfulness. Here are some thoughts from Thomas Watson about godliness and thankfulness.  Continue Reading »

People Need the Lord … (October 2019 Update) 

Evangelism is the life blood of Christianity. Every generation is responsible for sharing the gospel. As Dr. E. Stanley Jones once said, “God doesn’t have grandchildren.”  Because spiritual life is not passed on when God’s spiritual children have physical children. Each person must hear the gospel and respond. No one is saved by being in a good Christian family. That’s why it is important that we share the gospel with people. For “how shall they believe on him of whom they have not heard?” (Romans 10:14) 

Evangelism is our responsibility. But evangelism today is often done wrongly. In our class, we talked examined the methods Jesus used and Paul’s theology of the gospel to better understand evangelism. But we also looked at some wrong approaches to evangelism. Here are a few.  Continue Reading »

Public Worship  (September 2019 Update)

“Private worship is more important than Public Worship.” Until a few weeks ago, this is what I have always said and believed. But in preparing for teaching a class on Worship, I read an article by Don Whitney on “Private Worship.”i In his introduction, he wrote about a sermon by David Clarkson, Public Worship to be Preferred Before Private” which changed his mind. After reading Don’s comments about the sermon, I then read the sermon itself. I was convinced!  Clarkson has 12 lengthy major points followed by 9 explanations and another 11 exhortations or applications! Here are a few reasons that I have summarized from this excellent sermon with a couple more of my own observations.  Continue Reading »

Public Worship Preferred Before Private 

David Clarkson 

The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. 

– PSALM 88:2. 

SO THAT we may apprehend the meaning of these words, and so thereupon raise some edifying observation, we must inquire into the reason why the Lord is said to love the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. This being manifest, the words will be clear. 

Now the reason we may find assigned by the Lord himself, Deut. 8:5, 6, 11. The gates of Zion was the place which the Lord had chosen to cause his name to dwell there, i.e. as the following words explain, the place of his worship. For the temple was built upon, or near to, the hill of Zion. And this, you know, was in peculiar the settled place of his worship. It was the Lord’s delight in affection to his worship, for which he is said to love the gates of Zion, more than all the dwellings of Jacob.  Continue Reading »

How Beautiful … (August 2019 Update)

“And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!’ (Romans 10:15).  In Romans 9-11, Paul speaks about the sovereign work of God in election, calling and salvation. In fact, Romans 9 and Romans 11 are considered to be the strongest chapters on election and predestination in the Bible. However, sandwiched in between Romans 9 and 11 is Romans 10 – one of the strongest chapters on personal responsibility!

In Romans 10:9-13, Paul speaks about the necessity for every individual to choose Christ. He makes it clear that conversion takes place when “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” In other words, we must tell people to choose Christ. In Romans 10:13, he reminds us that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Continue Reading »

While We Were Praying  (July 2019 Update)

The providence of God is amazing. He sees ahead and makes provision for His children. The word “providence” is a compound word in Latin – “pro” meaning before, and “video” meaning to see. Providence means that God sees ahead, or sees before anything happens. This is a great comfort to believers. We do not see the future, but God not only knows and sees everything that will happen before it happens, but He also makes provision for His children in every circumstance. What a comfort “providence” is to the child of God. Continue Reading »