The drive of man to establish himself by his own efforts, even when these efforts are religious in character, belongs to the sphere of the old man. Yet there is a place for good works.
The presence of God is a dreadful and a fearful thing; yes, his most gracious and merciful appearances; how much more then when he shows himself to us as one that dislikes our ways, as one that is offended with us for our sins?
In matters pertaining to his salvation, the unregenerate man is not at liberty to choose between good and evil, but only to choose between greater and lesser evil, which is not properly free will. The fact that fallen man still has ability to do certain acts morally good in themselves does not prove that he can do acts meriting salvation, for his motives may be wholly wrong.
We are dead! Dead is a strong word, but it is not my own coining and invention. I did not choose it. The Holy Spirit told Paul to write it down about the Ephesians: “You hath he quickened who were dead” (Eph 2:1).
It is our deep conviction that the vital question most requiring to be raised today is this: Is man a totally and thoroughly depraved creature by nature? Does he enter the world completely ruined and helpless, spiritually blind and dead in trespasses and sins?
Reader, I want you to go to heaven after this life is over. I want heaven to be very full, and I want you to be one of its inhabitants.—J. C. Ryle
To the worldly and careless they may seem nothing at all. To all who feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of God, they are full of unspeakable comfort. If we hope to be in heaven, it is pleasant to know what heaven is like.
You cannot save that soul of yours…remember that! You cannot make your own peace with God. You cannot wipe away a single sin. You cannot blot out one of the black records that stand in the book of God against you. You cannot change your own heart. But there is one thing you can do: you can lose your own soul.
Hell is a real place. It is not a metaphor or a symbol, not a description of our inner desolation or our present sufferings, no matter how agonising these may be. It is not a state of mind. It is a place with spatial dimensions.
It is a fearful thing to fall into a fire or to be shut up in a fiery furnace on earth. But the terror of these vanishes when we consider how fearful it is to fall into the hands of the living God, which is the lot of the damned. “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?
Thus you see it among young and old. Multitudes of youth lead a careless life, taking little care about their salvation. So you may see it among persons of middle age and with many advanced in years, when they certainly draw near to the grave…
Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death
This book contains easy to use orders of service which are guides for various services. They are valuable, but in no way should they replace the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus did talk about tithing as shown in Matthew 23: 23 and Luke 11: 42, but these verses cannot be quoted in our day to encourage Christians to tithe because it was not His intentional message. Although Jesus did not condemn tithing here, we must understand Jesus was still under the Old Covenant as the New Covenant began with His death and resurrection.
This is exactly what has happened to humanity through sin. The human free will is biased toward evil. It really exists, and really can make decisions – just as the loaded scales still work. But instead of giving a balanced judgment, a serious bias exists toward evil. Therefore, human free will really exists in sinners, but that it is compromised by sin.
This lack of personal development is just sheer laziness on the part of many, and as a result, the church is happy just paying someone else to look after their Christianity. We need to address the fundamental issues facing Christendom with Scripture and Scripture alone.
God’s whole counsel includes both the bad news about our natural state and the good news about God’s plan to redeem us.
Liberal theology, with its belief in the inherent goodness of man and his ability to help himself is making a comeback. For the doctrine of salvation by grace has practically become an insult for it’s portrayal that man is innately spiritually dead – unable to ever come to God. The word “grace” is also emptied of all spiritual meaning and vanished from religious discourses. It is retained only in the sense of “graciousness,” something that is quite external.
Christ came into the world as the second Adam. And Paul demonstrates here in Romans 5 that just like Adam, Christ is the covenant representative of all those who believe in Him. So, just as all humanity was condemned on the basis of Adam’s disobedience, so too, all those who belong to the Saviour are justified on the basis of Jesus’ obedience as their covenant representative.
The faculties which men receive at birth have a carnal bias, an earthly trend, a distaste for the heavenly and divine, and are inclined only to selfish aims and groveling pursuits. In the most polished or religious society, equally with the vulgar and profane, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” and can never be anything better. Prune and trim a corrupt tree as much as you will, it can never be made to yield good fruit. Every man must be born again before he can be acceptable to a holy God.
This remission of all sins is not limited to past sins only, but to all sins—past, present, and future. If it were not so, then justification would have to be repeated over and over again, and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ would be lowered to the level of the animal sacrifices of the old covenant. Therefore it has to be offered over and over again for the continued presence of sin.
Grace from the Work of Christ is NOT to be understood as grace to be external enlightenment or instruction graciously provided for humanity by God. God does not just demand that human beings should be “perfect”, which is a vague term. Rather, God graciously provides specific guidance as to what form of perfection is required – such as keeping the Ten Commandments, and becoming like Christ. Grace thus informs humanity what its moral duties are (otherwise, it would not know what they were); it does not, however, assist humanity to perform them, because there is no need for such assistance.
Moralism is the default mode for preachers. It’s second nature. But it misinforms the congregation. Why do it then? Maybe it tells them what they really want to hear, which is that they can please God through moral improvement. But moralising cannot save. We must do better than this if we are to escape the rebuke of Christ: “If you believed Moses, you would believe me”
Therefore, those who truly understand the Gospel will not downplay doctrines, to do so is to minimise how much they will know about the Gospel. Could it be that those who are arguing for the “Gospel” at the expense of “doctrines” are simply trying to find a way to justify their opposition to some of our distinctive beliefs or avoiding to disclose their ignorance.
We depart from Biblical teaching when we think that today’s so-called gospel rock, gospel clowns, gospel magicians, and other forms of gospel entertainment can legitimately be employed to communicate spiritual truth. The Scriptures teach that the world is on its own, “without hope and without God” (Ephesians 2:12). Therefore, instead of borrowing worldly methods to reach the world, Christians are sent forth like the apostle Paul, “to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God”
With the explosion of different sects that claim to honour and follow Jesus, how does one differentiate between true Biblical Christianity and an aberrant religious movement? Just what are “the marks of a cult?”
Jesus took these notions another radical step when he challenged his followers to examine their way of living: “And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back” (Luke 6:34–35).
The tabernacle was instituted by God as the place where he would dwell in the midst of the people of Israel. It was the forerunner of the temple; it was a tent that went before the children of Israel as they made their way to the promised land. Within the tabernacle was the most holy place, where God came to meet man. Just as God came to meet man in the tabernacle, he came to meet man in the person of Jesus.
Christians, by definition, believe Christ to be God- made-man, God-in-the-flesh. His claims cannot be amended, watered down, relativised, negotiated away or nuanced into acceptability. But this exclusivism is not an exclusivism of Christian culture, of Christian ethics or of Christians as the only candidates for heaven.
Chinese New Year is the largest holiday of the year in China and if you are praying for China or joining some Chinese friends during the festival, there are two things that every Christian should know.