Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2016

knowing that we do not know

Spiral Galaxy edge-on photo by NASA Hubble telescope We must begin by knowing that we do not know.   Caspar Hare, Associate Professor at MIT, asks, "Can science teach us everything there is to know about reality?"   In other words, is it true that everything that can be known can be known through science?  If we say that is true, then what about that very statement?  How do we know it is true? The scientific method can help us know the things that science can deal with.  But w e need to know there are things outside of and beyond us, things which may not be validated by the scientific method.  Science can tell us much about the what  of creation, but not the Who  behind creation.  We don't know who God is, what his will and laws are, and what the purpose and destiny of humanity is, unless God himself chooses to reveal these things to us.  These truths are shadowed upon our human nature and in the beauty of the world around us, but they can be known with  clar

what makes a 'good work' good?

Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands; and of good use both to themselves and others: yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith; nor are done in a right manner, according to the Word; nor to a right end, the glory of God, they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God: and yet, their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing unto God.  ( Westminster Confession of Faith , 16.7) Dr. John Frame, in his excellent volume, The Doctrine of the Christian Life (Theology of Lordship series), explains below what goes into to making a "good work" before God.  (Relatively and humanly speaking, people may do good works toward one another, but the question here is, what is a good work before God, what kind of work is he is pleased with?)  He answers... "Note the three necessary ingredients: (1) a heart purified by faith, (2) obedience to God’s Wo

murray on sanctification, part two

"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:12, 13 ESV) "The salvation referred to here is not the salvation already in possession but the eschatological salvation (cf. 1 Thess. 5:8, 9; 1 Pet. 1:5, 9; 2:2).  And no text sets forth more succinctly and clearly the relation of God's working to our working.  God's working in us is not suspended because we work, nor our working suspended because God works.  Neither is the relation strictly one of co-operation as if God did his part and we did ours so that the conjunction or co-ordination of both produced the required result.  God works in us and we also work.  But the relation is that because God works we work.  All working out of salvation on our part is the effect of God's working in us, not t

murray on sanctification

"There must be a constant and increasing appreciation that though sin still remains it does not have the mastery.  There is a total difference between surviving sin and reigning sin, the regenerate in conflict with sin and the unregenerate complacent to sin.  It is one thing for sin to live in us: it is another for us to live in sin.  It is one thing for the enemy to occupy the capital; it is another for his defeated hosts to harass the garrisons of the kingdom.  It is of paramount concern for the Christian and for the interests of his sanctification that he should know that sin does not have the dominion over him, that the forces of redeeming, regenerative, and sanctifying grace have been brought to bear upon him in that which is central in his moral and spiritual being, that he is the habitation of God through the Spirit, and that Christ has been formed in him the hope of glory.  This is equivalent to saying that he must reckon himself to be dead indeed unto sin but alive unto G

Sunday notes

Here are some notes from last Sunday's sermon by Chris Faith... From The Renovation of the Heart , by Dallas Willard, he cites:  The Process of Change : V.I.M. =  VISION,  INTENTION, and  METHODS METHODS : 1. GET HONEST: Find someone you trust; establish some accountability. Be frank about the struggle.  2. GET SMART: Avoid temptation. Flee temptation. 3. GET SATISFIED: Married couples need to have a regular, satisfying, sexual relationship.  4. GET VICTORY: It’s possible to walk in purity. Believe that.  5. GET CLEANSED: Remember Jesus’ body broken and His blood spilled to make you clean. Receive His cleansing. Do you hear me? Receive now His cleansing.  6. GET HUMBLE: Beg God for His power in your weakness. Seek His filling. Seek the things above. 1 Corinthians 6:18... "Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body." James 4:7... "Submit therefore to God. Resist the devi

shaped by the world, or the Word

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night." (Psalm 1:1-2 ESV)  "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."  (Romans 12:2 ESV) Believers have always had to live in the presence of "the world".  The world, as used in the Bible in this sense, means the shape of thinking, life-style, culture, morality, opinions, trends, and judgments which characterize fallen humanity. The culture of men and women living in darkness and rebellion against the holy God takes a certain shape.  And this in turn exercises a shaping influence upon all within its sphere.  We cannot escape that pressure.  But in God's grace we experience a countering power, a transform