ESV Bible

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Reformation Day!

I have to be honest, today is one of my favorite days of the year. Many Christians would say to me, "How can you say is Satan's holiday."

To those Christians that think today is Satan's holiday, I simply say. YOU ARE WRONG! Today is one of the most important days in Christian History, because today we remember the Reformation. It was 497 years ago, today Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. While this single event is not the only act that sparked the Protestant Reformation, it did become the one that history remembers.

I can't tell you how important it is for Christians to understand that today is not "Satan's day." When I hear Christians say that, I want to scream! No day is ever Satan's day! We serve a sovereign God who controls all things. None match his power. None match his strength. Satan doesn't get any days. "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Ps. 118:24)

Furthermore, when you study the history behind this day, you find out that even the word, "halloween" comes from Christian roots. The word, "hallow" is an old English word for "saints." "Saints" is another term for Christians. Tomorrow is known as All Saints Day. It's a day we remember the Christians of the past and their faithfulness to God's Word. Today we should do the same...we should focus on how God used so many men and women of the Reformation to promote and stand firm on the Bible!

Hebrews 13:7 says, "Remember you leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith."

Today is a day to remember that Christians of the past fought hard, and gave up their lives so that we could have the Word of God. Praise God for October 31st!


If you want to learn more about the history behind Oct. 31 here are some links:

The first article is written by my pastor at BLDG28 Church, Aaron Currin. Just scroll down to the second article titled Halloween: Carnal or Christian? 

Desiring God also has some great articles about today:

The Light Shine's on All Hallow's Eve by Jon Bloom

Open the Door to Halloween by Jonathan Parnell

The Reformation: Trick or Treat? by David Mathis

Trick or Treat? It's Martin Luther by David Mathis

The Gospel Coalition has some great articles on the Reformation:

Reformation Then and Now, Here and There by Dan Doriani

Luther's 95 Theses: What You May Not Know and Why They Matter Today by Justin Holcomb

Is the Reformation Over? by Kevin DeYoung

497 Years Ago Today: An Interview with Carl Trueman on Luther's 95 Theses by Justin Taylor

Finally, check this SPOKEN WORD video on Martin Luther and the Reformation.

Be Edified!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mid Week Book Buzz 10/29/14

1. George Whitfield by Arnold Dallimore $1.99 reg. price: $13.99

2. Rediscovering the Church Fathers by Michael Haykin $.99 reg. price: $13.99

3. The Christian Writer's Manual of Style by Robert Hudson $5.98 print price: $19.99

4. Recovering Classic Evangelicalism by Gregory Thornbury $.99 reg. price: $13.99

5. A God Entranced Vision of All Things by John Piper $1.99 reg. price: $13.99

6. A Tale of Two Sons by John MacArthur $5.99 print price: $17.99

7. How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens by Michael Williams $2.99 print price: $18.99

8. The Essential Works of Richard Baxter by Richard Baxter $2.99

9. The Essential Works of Charles Spurgeon by Charles Spurgeon $2.99

10. Gospel Coach by Scott Thomas $2.99 print price: $16.99

11. For Calvinism by Michael Horton $2.99 print price: $16.99

12. A Place for Weakness by Michael Horton $2.99

13. Historical Theology by Gregg Allison $5.98 print price: $44.99

14. Telling the Truth by D.A. Carson $2.99

15. Worship by the Book by D.A. Carson & Timothy Keller $2.99 print price: $16.99

16. The Hardest Sermons You'll ever have to Preach by Bryan Chapell $2.99 print price: $19.99

17. Preaching and Preachers by Martin Lloyd Jones $3.99 print price: $22.99

18. A Simple Christianity by John MacArthur $2.99 reg. price: $17.99

19. Proof by Timothy Paul Jones $3.99 print price: $16.99

20. Gospel-Centered Teaching by Trevon Wax $2.99 print price: $12.99

21. Thoughts on Family Worship by J.W. Alexander $.99 print price: $5.52

22. Christ-Centered Exposition Commentaries: Mark by Daniel Akin $2.99 print price: $12.99

23. Christ-Centered Exposition Commentaries: Ephesians by Tony Merida $2.99 print price:$12.99

24. Christ-Centered Exposition Commentaries: James by David Platt $2.99 print price: $12.99

25. Christ-Centered Exposition Commentaries: 1,2,3 John by Daniel Akin $2.99 print price: $12.99

26. Politics by Wayne Grudem $5.99 print price: $39.99

27. Center Church by Timothy Keller $5.99 print price: $29.99

28. Pilgrim Theology by Michael Horton $5.99 print price: $34.99

29. For the City by Darrin Patrick $5.98 print price: $18.99

30. Transformational Discipleship by Eric Geiger $2.99 print price: $14.99

31. Tansformational Groups by Ed Stetzer $2.99 print price: $14.99

32. Know the Creeds and Councils by Justin Holcomb $1.99 print price: $12.99

Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekend Book Buzz 10/24/14 and Advice for Reading Theology books even though your'e busy

Check out this short article titled, "Advice for Reading Theology Books Even Though Your'e Busy"

1. Intended For Pleasure by Ed Wheat $2.99 reg. price: $19.99

2. For Calvinism by Michael Horton $5.98 print price: $16.99

3. Against Calvinism by Roger Olson $5.98 print price:$16.99

4. Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church by D.A. Carson $2.99 print price: $14.99

5. Faith & Life by B.B. Warfield $.99 print price: $30.95

6. Is It My Fault? by Justin & Lindsey Holcomb $3.99 reg. price: $11.24

7. Rediscovering Holiness by J.I. Packer $2.99 reg. price: $16.99

8. The Beginners Bible by Kelly Pulley $1.99 print price: $16.97

9. The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones $5.99 print price: $16.99

10. Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd Jones $2.99 print price: $16.99

11. Jesus, Justice, and Gender Roles by Kathy Keller $2.99 print price: $7.99

12. Man and Woman by Wayne Grudem $2.99

13. Pagan Christianity? by Frank Viola $.99 reg. price: $15.99

14. Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever $1.99 reg. price: $13.99

15. Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen FREE

16. A Defense of Calvinism by Charles Spurgeon $.99 print price: $3.75

17. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis $4.99 print price: $14.99

18. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis $3.99 (not a big savings, but great book)

19. The Justification of Knowledge by Robert Reymond FREE

20. Shepherding a Child's Heart by Paul Tripp $4.99 print price: $13.95

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Village 101

So I thought you might be interested to know exactly what happened at the Village Church last week since Pastor Aaron mentioned it this past Sunday.

I have to start by saying that this was the BEST conference I've ever been to. HANDS DOWN! I'm probably saying that because I got to hang with Matt Chandler for the few minutes that he spoke to us, but it was awesome!

We started our trip by meeting at the church on Monday evening. We wanted to make sure the church was set up for Student Group on Wednesday. After we set up, we decided to go have dinner at The Pub in Tampa.

This was my first time eating at The Pub. I have to say that I had one of the best burgers ever. Nothing beats a burger on a pretzel bun with onion straws, a fried pickle and a Caesar salad! YUM.

Then it was on to the airport. Our flight was delayed 3 hours, so we didn't leave Tampa till around 11 pm. NOT FUN!

The flight was kind of rough, and took longer than expected because of some weather issues. We finally arrived in Dallas, and started walking, and walking, and walking till we finally figured out that we had to take a bus to the rental car hub that was 20 minutes away. WEIRD.

Once we finally loaded up, we had a very difficult time leaving the airport area. Our GPS could not figure out how to get us to our destination, so we eventually took over and used our GOD GIVEN GIFT of DIRECTION that he bestows on all men.

Of course that led to another 6 circles around the airport.

We finally found the highway and headed toward our hotel. Once we arrived and checked in it was 4 am. We were all beat!

ROUND 1 OF ROOM HOPING: So we all walk up to our rooms and open the doors and in both rooms there was a staunch like none other! It smelled like something had died. Josh and I were sharing a room and the rest of the clan had a different room. We called to the guys and said, "come down and smell our room." Pastor Aaron walked in and yelled, "which one of you guys farted in here?" Well, needless to say we all went back downstairs and got new rooms.

ROUND 2 OF ROOM HOPING: This time Josh and I decided we'd keep our room, even though it still had a musty smell. However, when Nate, Aaron, and Jeffery walked into their second room, they noticed that "someone had been sleeping in their bed." They walked in and one of the bed hadn't been made from the last person who had slept in it. You could see the body indentations in the bed, so back to the front desk they went. The next room seemed to be okay, and off to bed we went.

After 4-5 hours of sleep, we awere off to the Village Church. We were all pretty excited to see it. We all love Matt Chandler and pretty much listen to his sermons weekly. As we arrive, we were all taking pictures and posting them on FB and Instagram like a bunch of geeks...kind of like what I'm doing right now.


The Village Church bought an old Albertson's and renovated it. Now, they have a bunch of campuses, but this is their main campus.

This is what it looks like when you walk in. To the left (which you can't see in this pic) is the children's wing, straight ahead another area used for children's ministry and social events like this conference, up the stairs are the offices, and to your right is the auditorium.

And here we are, and you wonder why they thought we were youth pastors...hmm...

Then the staff took us on a tour of the facility. We got to see the offices, the kids wing, and the auditorium. The Village Church auditorium is literally smaller than the Calvary Church and Countryside auditoriums. 


After the tour we sat down for our sessions. We got to hear from the children's director, the middle school pastor. one of the spiritual formation pastors, Josh Patterson, and Matt Chandler. Matt spoke about how important covenant membership was for the church. He really emphasized how foundational it was to be committed to the the body of Christ through covenant. 

In between sessions, as you already know from Aaron's sermon, we got to spend some time talking with Josh and Matt. They both recommended we go to dinner at Hard Eight for some authentic Texas BBQ. As you can see in the pics, they weren't messing around!

The way it worked was you got in line and as you come up to the BBQ pit you pick out what you want, they toss it in a plate, and you pay per pound. 

Yes, it was AWESOME!

After dinner we went back to the hotel for a pastors meeting to discuss what we learned that day, and what we thought were the most important principals we could use for BLDG28.

The next day The Village Church invited all of the attendees to their private once a month staff only worship service...being part of the elect has it's privileges...JK...this is how reformed guys joke, don't be offended!

So, we went in, sat down and who joins us...

...remember in middle school, when you wanted to sit at the cool table...yeah that just happened! 

yes, I did take the creepy photo of Matt Chandler sitting at our table...I'll own it. It was awesome! :)

In all seriousness, those villagers know how to worship. You could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in the room as we lifted our voices to our sovereign savior.

Matt spoke about we all need to take a step back and rest from time to time and then get back up and go  burn the midnight oil again. 

After the service we broke up into groups to learn about specific strategies they put in place to create an atmosphere of discipleship at the Village, but we all had to leave early so we could make our flight. 

This is the church before they moved to the Albertsons.

Back home we flew, and back to the church where we walked in and just began ministering to our students. 

As you can tell, we had a great time, but what you don't see in these pictures is all the great resources that The Village Church gave us. This conference allowed us to see how a church, who has the same foundation and philosophy as BLDG28, continues to multiply, and make disciples. As pastors, we want to do all we can to make Matthew 28 a reality in Clearwater, Florida. 

We are so thankful we were able to go and learn. Our heart is that BLDG28 would be a Church that makes discipleship it's DNA. Sola Christos, Sola Gratia, Soli Deo Gloria.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mid Week Book Buzz 10/21/14

More great deals this week...

1. God and The Gay Christian by Albert Mohler $.99

2. Issues Facing Christians Today by John Stott $2.99 print price: $19.99

3. Showing the Spirit by D.A. Carson $3.99 reg. price: $22.00

4. Who Made God by Ravi Zacharias $3.79 print price: $14.99

5. Diamonds in the Dust by Joni Eareckson Tada $2.99 print price: $18.99

6. Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler $3.99 print price: $14.99

7. What is a Healthy Church Member by Thabiti Anyabwile $.99 reg. price: $8.99

8. Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever $1.99 reg. price: $13.99

9. The Deliberate Churh by Mark Dever $1.99 reg. price: $11.99

10. Total Church by Tim Chester $.99 reg. price: $12.99

11. Church Elders by Jerimie Rinne $.99 reg. price: $9.99

12. Risky Gospel by Owen Strachan $1.99 print price: $15.99

13. Preaching to a Post Everything World by Zack Eswine $1.99 reg. price: $20.00

14. The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink FREE DOWNLOAD

15. The Attributes of God by A.W. Pink $.99 print price: $7.45

16. Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond by Darrell Bock $5.98 print price: $18.99

17. Are Miraculous Gifts for Today 4 Views by Wayne Grudem $2.99 print price: $19.99

18. Four Views on the Book of Revelation by C.Marvin Pate $5.98 print price: $17.99

19. Five Views on Sanctification by Melvin E. Deiter $2.99 print price: $17.99

20. Four Views on Eternal Security by J. Matthew Pinson $2.99 print price: $18.99

21.Commentary Critical on Ephesians by Robert Jamieson FREE DOWNLOAD

22. Commentary on Galatians by Martin Luther FREE DOWNLOAD

23. Be Patient - Commentary on Job by Warren Wiersbe $2.99 reg. price: $12.99

24. The MacArthur ESV Study Bible by John MacArthur $6.00

25. Calvin's Complete Bible Commentaries by John Calvin $2.99

26. Exegetical Commentary on the NT: James by Craig Blomberg $4.99 print price: $29.99

27. An Introduction to the OT by Tremper Longman III $5.99 print price: $34.99

28. Exploring the Worship Spectrum by Paul Basden $2.99 print price:$17.99

29. An Introduction to the NT by D.A. Carson $5.99 print price: $39.99

30. Four Views on Christian Spirituality by Bruce Demarest $2.99 print price: $18.99

31. Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism by James Stamoolis $2.99 print price: $17.99

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Thinking on Ephesians Chapter 1 Verses 3-6 Part 5

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved." - ESV

Today we are going to tackle the subject of "foreknowledge" and then answer two questions: What did God elect us to be? and What was His purpose in election?

Some Christians like to change Scripture to make it say what makes more sense to them. We call this eisegesis (inserting your opinion into the text instead of allowing the text to shape your opinion). This is a common problem when it comes to election, predestination, and the foreknowledge of God.

Maybe you've heard a preacher say something like, "God knew who was going to believe in Him and based on his foreknowledge, he elected those people who God knew would choose him."

This is how some preachers explain election. They do this so they can "protect" man's will from God's predestination, and are really saying that all God really does in election is confirm the decision of man. It's just another way people try to take the decision away from God. It's kind of silly when you really think about it. The most common verse used as a proof text for this idea is Romans 8:29.

Romans 8:29 says, "For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers."

Some say that because the word "foreknew" comes first in this list, that it must mean that God's foreknowledge comes first in the order of salvation. Well we know that is a terrible argument because Acts 2:23 turns it around and puts "the definite plan" of God before the word "foreknowledge in the order of words.

The idea isn't that God knew that some would believe and then chose them. This isn't about God knowing what a person would or wouldn't do, but rather that he knew them in a very intimate, personal, and relational way. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that God doesn't know the future, but rather specifically understanding the context of Romans 8. God knows everything. The Greek word used for the word "foreknew" is proginosko. This word carries with it the idea of not only knowing something beforehand, but knowing relationally beforehand. It's an amazing concept! God knew you (not just knew things about you) before he created you. This blows my mind!

In other words, when this text says God foreknew, It means GOD KNEW YOU! He knew you like you know your wife or you know your kids, or your best friend before you existed. The meaning here is not about knowing facts, but really knowing people.

Here are a couple of other texts to help you understand the meaning here:
Gal. 4:9 says, "But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the word, whose slaves you want to be once more?"

1Cor. 8:3 says, "But if anyone loves God, he is known by God."

Psalm 139 paints a perfect picture of how God knows his children.

What was God's purpose in election?

The text says that we were chosen that "we would be holy and blameless before him." We were chosen to be justified. We were chosen to be recipients of Christ's imputed righteousness. The Greek word for "blameless" is amomos which carries the idea of having no blemish whatsoever. Paul is talking specifically about our position in Christ. The purpose of election is for God's people to be declared righteous.

What did God elect us to be?

The text says, "In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved."
Our great God elected us to be adopted into His family. We were chosen to be sons and daughters of the sovereign king of the universe.

Gal. 4:4-7 says, "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying 'Abba! Father!' So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God."

Does it get any clearer than that?

Today, find joy, rest, and comfort in knowing that God chose to know you, God chose to justify you, and God chose to adopt you!

We serve an amazing God!

Be Edified!

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Power that Propels the Movement

Christians get so confused sometimes about prayer. Some of us think it's our "magic wand" to make God do what we want Him to. Others of us seem to question why we need to pray in the first place if God knows everything.

So why do we pray? Wayne Grudem tells us, "God wants us to pray because prayer expresses our trust in God and is a means whereby our trust in him can increase...God as our Creator delights in being trusted by us as his creatures, for an attitude of dependence is most appropriate to the Creator-creation relationship." (Bible Doctrine, pg. 158)

Prayer does change the way God acts (James 4:2, Luke 11:9-10, 1John 1:9, 2Chron. 7:14) and at the same time our great God knows exactly what we are going to ask before we actually do (Matt. 6:8). This is all part of the mystery of God (Deut. 29:29).

But rest assured that more than anything, prayer allows us to align our will with God's will. (1John 5:14-15, Matt. 6:10).

If you missed Pastor Aaron's sermon last Sunday, you can listen to it here. Listen as he outlines the priority, purpose, and power of PRAYER!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mid Week Book Buzz 10/15

Great Deals!!!

1. Commentary on Romans by John Calvin $.99

2. New Geneva Introduction to the Old Testament by R.C. Sproul $.99 print price: $9.99

4. New Geneva Introduction to the New Testament by R.C. Sproul $.99 print price: $8.99

5. Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards $.99 print price: $7.95

6. Sola Fide by J.I. Packer $.99

5. The Total Depravity of Man by Authur W. Pink $.99 print price: $6.49

6. Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon $.99 print price: $16.97

7. Joy: A Godly Woman's Adornment by Lydia Brownback $.99 reg. price: $8.99

8. Learning Evangelism from Jesus by Jerram Barrs $.99 reg. price: $13.99

9. Finding Faithful Elders & Deacons by Thabiti M. Anyabwile $.99 reg. price $8.99

10. Holy Subversion by Trevon Wax $.99 reg. price: $11.99

11. A Meal with Jesus by Tim Chester $.99 reg. price: 11.99

12. One with Christ by Marcus Johnson $.99 reg. price $15.99

13. Found in Him by Elyse Fitzpatrick $.99 reg. price: $12.99

14. Engaging with the Holy Spirit by Graham Cole $1.99 reg. price: $9.99

15. Four Views on the Book of Revelation by various $2.99 print price: $17.99

16. Four Views of the End Times by Timothy Paul Jones $.99

17. Four Views on Hell by various $2.99

18. Preaching to a Shifting Culture by Scott Gibson $1.99 reg. price: $18.00

19. Christian Apologetics by Chad Meister $4.99 print price: $44.99

20. The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur $3.79 print price: $19.99

21. Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham $.99 reg. price: $12.99

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Thinking on Ephesians Chapter 1 Verses 3-6 Part 4

Eph. 1:3-6

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved." - ESV

Last time we focused on the phrase, "even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world..."

Today, I would like to outline the doctrine of Election and then next week we will discuss the foreknowledge of God and then move on to answer the questions: What did God elect us to be? What was His purpose in election?

The doctrine of Election starts in the Old Testament. We know that God chose Abraham to be the father of a new nation (Gen. 12:1-3). We see God choosing the nation of Israel to bring about his purposes (Deut. 7, Isa. 42). In the New Testament, Jesus chose 12 men to be his disciples (Jn. 15:16). Here are just a few New Testament references where we see God choosing or electing:

Romans 9
Acts 13:48
Titus 1:1
1Peter 1:1-2
2Peter 1:10

In Ephesians 1, Paul is speaking of election unto salvation. I know that the Bible refers to Israel as the "elect" nation of God (Deut. 7:6). I know that we see God choosing a sort of vocational election in Acts 9:15 and Rom. 1:5, but that's not in view here, and I think the context of the passage makes that abundantly clear.

What makes this whole doctrine confusing is the act of reconciling it to the fact that we make real, free decisions. We are called to believe in Jesus (John 3:16), right? And that's my choice right?

So do we have a free will? It depends on how you define it. Here is my definition of free will:

"You can do what ever you want." --- Seems simple enough, right?

The next question you have to ask yourself is: what do I want? (when you ask that question, you have to simultaneously ask the question, what does the Bible say that I want?) How you answer this question will lead you down two very different theological paths. One will lead you to what we call Reformed theology (or I simply like to call it biblical doctrine). The other will lead you to Humanism.

Do you know what the Bible says about you?

Romans 3:12 - "All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; NO ONE DOES good; NOT EVEN ONE.

Isaiah 64:6 says "We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away."

The "polluted garment" mentioned have in view the disgusting, infected garment of a leper. Leprosy, in very simple terms, is a gross bacteria that grows in and on your body and many times causes gross deformity to the skin. Below is a picture of a man from Norway infected with leprosy. He is 24 years old in this picture. When I googled "leprosy" most of the images I saw were much worse.

I'd say I've given you a pretty clear picture of what the Bible compares your "good" works to, wouldn't you?

Romans 6:17 helps us understand that before regeneration, we are SLAVES to sin.

So this brings us back to my definition of free will - "you do what ever you want to do." What does the Bible say you want to do? It doesn't say you want to do anything that is good, but rather it says you can only do what is BAD, EVIL, and WRONG.

Continue reading in Romans 6 and you find out that when God comes in and regenerates the soul, your desires change, so you now WANT TO obey God.

All that to say, if you understand that the freedom of the will is only the ability to do what you desire to do, and what you desire to do is always sin apart from God's regenerating work in your soul, then you will be able to understand how the doctrine of Election complements your ability to choose, instead of contradicting it.

You might say, I don't know if this doctrine is Biblical...well, I would respond to that by giving you some passages to read in Scripture:

2Timothy 1:8-9 says, "Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus BEFORE THE AGES BEGAN..."

Acts 13:48 says, "And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and AS MANY AS WERE APPOINTED TO ETERNAL LIFE believed."

2Thes. 2:13 says, "But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because GOD CHOSE YOU as the firstfruits TO BE SAVED, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth."

Romans 8:30 says, "And those whom he predestined HE ALSO CALLED, and those WHOM HE CALLED he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."

2 Timothy 2:10 says, "Therefore I endure everything for the SAKE OF THE ELECT, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory."

Let's not get Election confused. Election and justification are not the same thing. When God elects one to be saved before the foundation of the world, it means that He has chosen an individual to be justified and adopted before time began and before the world was created, to be his son or daughter. Justification and adoption actually take place at some moment in time. You weren't saved before the world began, you were chosen to be saved before the world began, and you chose to be saved because God regenerated your heart (Rom. 6:17).

So yes, you did choose God at a moment in time by believing that he is the Lord of your life, but in order to do that, you had to die (spiritually) and Christ had to then resurrect you (spiritually) so that you could make that choice (Rom. 6:1-14).  God declared you righteous (justification) (Gal. 2:16) and he adopted (Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5) you as a son or daughter into his family and calls you his own (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6) and made you a co-heir (Rom. 8:17) with His son, Jesus. He promises to conform you to the image of His son (Rom. 8:29), and some day glorify (Rom. 8:30) you so that you will never be plagued by sin again. He has given you eternal life (John 3:36; 5:24).

This is what God decided would happen to you before the world was created, and God's decision that he would do all of this to you is the Doctrine of Election. Soli Deo Gloria.

Be Edified.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Careless with Christ?

If you missed Pastor Aaron's sermon last week you can always catch up before Sunday roles around.

Last week's sermon was titled: Careless with Christ? 

In this sermon Pastor Aaron talks about the exclusivity of Christ.

Acts 4:12 says,

"And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

According to Scripture the ONLY way to God is through JESUS!.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Mid Week Book Buzz 10/8/14

There are some great deals out there this week. Here is my list:

1. Jesus Plus Nothing Equals Everything by Tullian Tchividjian $.99 reg. price: $12.99

2. Galatians: Preaching the Word Commentary by Todd A. Wilson $.99 reg. price: $19.99

3. Preach by Mark Dever $2.99 reg. price: $9.99

4. Exploring Grace Together by Jessica Thompson $.99 reg. price: $8.99

5. Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart by JD Greear $2.99 reg. price: $9.99

6. Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler $3.99 print price: $14.99

7. Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper $2.99 reg. price: $9.99

8. The Essential Works of Jonathan Edwards by Jonathan Edwards $1.99

9. Systematic Theolgy (3 Volumes in 1) by Charles Hodge $2.99

10. Does God Exist? by William Lane Craig $.99

11. History of the Christian Church (8 Volumes in 1) by Philip Schaff $1.99

12. The Complete Works of St. Augustine (50 Books) by St. Augustine $1.99

13. The Complete Ante-Nicene & Nicene and Post-Nicene Church Fathers Collection (37 Volumes, 65 Authors, 500 Books) $2.99

14. The Martin Luther Collection (15 books) $1.99

15. The John Calvin Collection (12 books) $1.99

16. The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer FREE

17. Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church by Paul Washer $.99

18. PRE-ORDER: Because We Are Called to Counter Culture by David Platt $1.99

19. The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones $5.99 print price: $16.99

20. The Christian Counselor's Manual by Jay Adams $5.98 print price: $22.99

Monday, October 06, 2014

Doctrine Leads to Love

Christians try to come up with all kinds of reasons why they shouldn't study doctrine. All of which are WRONG. Every Christian should study doctrine. Understanding doctrine is simply understanding what you believe. The Gospel itself is doctrine. Christians believe that salvation comes through Jesus Christ. If you believe that, you have at least one doctrinal statement. In this article, Tim Challes explains that "your love for God is limited by your knowledge of God"...makes sense to me. The reason I continue to learn more about my wife is because I love her. If you are a Christian, and you say you love God, then it would follow that you learn as much as you can about Him. When a man says to a woman, "I love you" but doesn't want to get to know her, he is only infatuated by her. I think this is a common attitude among Christians. They are infatuated with the church and all the "fun activities" it offers for their family, but they don't really want to know God more. That's not a relationship, it's an infatuation. Knowing God, requires knowing doctrine! This is an article worth reading.

6 Reasons to Study Doctrine

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Thinking on Ephesians Chapter 1 Verses 3-6 PART 3

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved." - ESV

Last week we discussed, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places."

Today we will discuss the next portion of this great passage:

"...even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world...

I am quite aware that most Christians would probably like to skip this, but we cannot pick and choose what we want to believe. Either we believe the entire Bible or none at all.

You see if you pick and choose what you want to believe in the Bible, you set yourself up as the ultimate standard of truth, which makes you nothing more than a moral relativist.

I love this passage because it strips me of all credit. Paul forces us to deal with the fact that we cannot take credit for the salvation give us.

Our culture seems to promote an individualistic "me, me, me "system. When something great happens to us, even if we did not have a hand in it, we want to feel a sense of self accomplishment. If there is one thing the Gospel teaches us, it's that we can't offer God anything. 

There was nothing you could ever do to change the fact that you were chosen by God before the creation of the world to be his son or daughter. There's also nothing in the Bible that teaches you were chosen because of some outstanding quality or amazing attribute you possess. We don't know why God chose some and not others, we simply rest in the truth of God's Word.

God has a very definite plan for every person in the universe. Ps. 139:16 states, "Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Here King David acknowledges that every single day of his life was already planned out by God before one of them took place.

Even Jesus tells us that in order to receive salvation, you must be chosen. In Matthew 22:14, Jesus says, "For many are called, but few are chosen." This verse is understood in the context of a parable that Jesus told concerning a wedding feast. This parable is a great example of how salvation plays out between the general call to all to come to Christ and the choice of God. The preceding verses talk about a guest who was invited, but not clothed in the wedding garment. The passage singles out this man, and doesn't tell you how the rest received their wedding garment. All we know is that this man was bound hand and foot and cast "into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

I believe Christ makes it very clear that while we are to invite ALL to come, not ALL have been CHOSEN, and only the CHOSEN will be given wedding garments.

Jesus again makes this truth clear in John 6:44 when he says, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him." Many pastors might have you believe that this "drawing" is a subtle wooing by the Holy Spirit. If that's what you think, your understanding of this passage is incomplete. The Greek word for "draws" in this verse is helkyse. It actually means to pull in or lead by force. A "subtle push" is not in view here. In fact, if you continue on in the book of John you find the disciples casting their nets in chapter 22 and hauling the fish in. John uses the word helkyse for hauling in the nets.

In Acts 16:19 and Acts 21:30 helkyse is translated dragged, when Paul is dragged into the marketplace or out of the temple.

James also uses this word when he says, " who drags you into James 2:6

Jesus is saying that no one comes to salvation unless the Father pulls them in and makes them one of his own. Salvation is something that the Father chooses.

So the Father chose us...IN HIM...

We were chosen to be identified in Christ. Romans 8:29 says, "For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be CONFORMED to the IMAGE of his SON...

Do you see the way these two verses parallel each other?

If you are a Christian, you were destined to become more like Christ! I know what you're thinking,...some days I just don't feel like I am really being "conformed to the image of Christ."

Because of these great verses, we can rest in the fact that everything happens for a reason and for our good.

Rom. 8:29 can't be fully understood without Rom. 8:28 and 8:30, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."

Because we are in Christ we will be completely conformed to the image of Christ in the end. Scripture promises that the consummation of salvation is glorification.

Our awesome Father chose all of this for us before the world was created.

2Timothy 1:8-9 says, "Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of OUR WORKS but because of HIS OWN PURPOSE and GRACE, which he gave us IN CHRIST JESUS BEFORE THE AGES BEGAN..."

So how does the Bible say we should respond to all of this amazing GRACE?

2Thes. 2:13 says, "Be we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth."

BE THANKFUL. God's grace is so amazing! We need to give Him thanks for what he has done. We don't have to understand all of it, but we need to accept it, find rest in Him, and give Him thanks for saving us when we didn't deserve it. Soli Deo Gloria.

Be edified!