Friday, August 31, 2012

Preachers and Praying

John Stott speaking about Preachers and Praying;

“Preacher’s will only make time for this hard and secret work if they love people enough. Because it is secret and therefore unrewarded by men, we shall only undertake it if we long for their spiritual welfare more than their thanks.” (John Stott)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How Many Church Members Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?

Disclaimer:  I just came across this in my files. Let me say, first it is not original with me and second, I do not intend to offend anyone who might find their “church” or “faith” on this list. This is offered as humor and not meant to stereotype, offend, marginalize, categorize, and/or create religious dissension.

How Many Church Members Does it take to Change a Light Bulb?

Charismatic: Only 1

Hands are already in the air.

Pentecostal: 10

One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness in tongues.

Presbyterians: None

Lights will go on and off at predestined times. There's nothing one can do about it--get some candles.

Roman Catholic: None

Candles only.

The Baptists: At least 15.

One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad and fried chicken and bring your own place settings.

Who will bring the Kool-Aid? Wait, let's vote on that. No on the place settings, there's some in the kitchen. Why not bring lemonade instead of Kool-Aid? And what about the dessert? Of course we all know that desserts spelled backwards is "stressed"--

Episcopalians: 3

One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks and one to talk about
how much better the old one was. 


We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, you are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your light bulb for the next Sunday or Saturday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, 3-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.

Methodists: Undetermined

Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved.
You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb. We will be making bulb baskets for the Catholics (the candle folks). Bring a bulb of your choice to the Sunday lighting service and a covered dish to pass.

Nazarene: 6

One woman to replace the bulb while five men review church lighting policy.

Lutherans: None

Lutherans don't believe in change.


What's a light bulb?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Steps to the Study of Scripture Part VIII

We come now to the seventh step of Bible Study – spending time in reflection and prayer.

First and foremost, it must be kept in mind that the study of the Scriptures is not merely academic. Study is not simply “mind and study.” The study of the bible includes “heart and prayer.”

Second, it is true that it is extremely important to fill your mind with the text. Discover and truly own the meaning of the passage that you have studied. Determine the application of your text.

Then take the time to meditate and reflect on the text. Answer serious questions with deep thought –

·        How has this passage addressed issues in your own life?
·        What needs were met in your life by this passage?
·        What new attitudes or actions will you now adopt?
·        What new thing did you learn about God and His character?
·        How can this text, aided by the Holy Spirit:

                        *encourage you
                    *edify you
                   *instruct you
                   *reprove you
                   *correct you

You must take time to respond to what God has revealed to you by the illumination of the His Holy Spirit as you studied your text. Always keep in mind your needs and ask God to illuminate the text in such a way that you are truly edified by the text.

Constantly ask God for assistance in understanding and applying your text. I have said this before but let me say it again; to have biblical and appropriate application you must have truly discovered the original intent of the bible writer. Bad applications are a result of failing to discover the meaning of the original text within its context. You must turn often to the Holy Spirit and seek illumination as you work through a text.

In the life of a believer there are three types of approach to the Holy Scriptures. These approaches are entailed within our daily devotion or quiet time, our reading of Scripture for familiarization, and our bible study.

During our devotion or quiet time we are not studying nor merely reading the text. We are seeking to commune with God in quiet reflection and prayer. During your devotion or quiet time you are asking God to “reveal” Himself to you as both Father and Friend as you read a short passage meditatively asking God to help you focus on the passage at hand to discover how it affects you and your walk with God.

Bible reading plans are extremely valuable and necessary. This is a separate reading from your quiet time or devotion. This time of reading is “goal or accomplishment” oriented? Here you are reading to familiarize yourself with Scripture. You are not stopping to “smell the roses” along your way.

Bible Study is hard work. Here you wrestle with the text as Jacob wrestled with the angel. Bible study (which we have discussed the past seven (7) Wednesdays is in essence wrestling with God until God bless you from your passage with its original meaning and an application for your life today.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Treasure #3 Piper's Definition of Grace

Over the last forty (40) years I have written a number of quotes, comments, pithy sayings, and poems in the fly-leafs of my bibles. Each Tuesday I am going to share those various entries from my bibles with you. I hope they will be as much of blessing to you as they have been to me. Sometimes I will be able to give credit where credit is due and sometimes I won’t be able to credit the source. I apologize for this to each one who contributed these gems over the last forty (40) years.

Today’s Treasure: 

Piper’s Definition of Grace

Grace – is the pleasure of God, to magnify the worth of God by giving sinners the right and the power to delight in God, without obscuring the glory of God! (John Piper)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Don't Worry, Be Trusting!

Don't worry, be Trusting!
Gregg Metcalf
August 27, 2012

(based on Matthew 6:34 and yesterday's message)

Don't worry, be happy
was once a little ditty
sung by everyone;
it was meant to be
positive philosophy
and a little fun.

Fraught with problems galore
it became a shameful bore
not helping one whit;
at the end of the chorus
hidden in the forest,
problems that wouldn't quit!

Merely singing such a tune
from morning until noon
ended naught concern;
one needs something more
to end this worry war,
will we ever learn?

Do not be anxious friend
about tomorrow's end
tomorrow will worry;
about itself you know
to the Lord you must go
don't delay, but hurry!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday's In the Study BS12-002

“Introduction to the First Epistle of John”
(Part II)

The Appetizerlet’s stimulate interest

·        How do details serve a story or a narrative?
·        How does knowing background information help understanding?
·        Why would knowing the author, the audience, and the age of writing be of help?

The Adaptation – let’s adapt the appetizer to our lesson

Tonight I intend to share with you  information and background on this letter by a man named John in order to properly understand and interpret the truths contained in this book. Knowing this information enables us to correctly apply the divinely inspired material contained in this letter.

The Argument – let’s discover the main idea of our lesson

This letter was written by the Apostle John to the churches of Asia under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit around AD 85-90 for the spiritual welfare of God’s children. Therefore, it needs to be carefully studied, learned, and applied by each one of us today.

The Aim – the change you need to make as a result of this lesson

I challenge you to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of this letter by knowing its author, audience, age and argument so as to make application in your daily walk with Christ.

A good introduction to an Old or New Testament writing contains at least four elements that provide the necessary background information for proper interpretation.

Tonight, we will look at three of these four elements which will give us a good grasp on this letter; these elements are the author, the audience, and the age of this epistle or letter.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturdays with Spurgeon #002

The Boy and the Books

“I would rather be descended from one who suffered for the faith than bear the blood of all the emperors in my veins.” (Charles Spurgeon)

“The precocity of young Charles drew the attention of all around. He would astonish the grace deacons and matrons, who met at this grandfather’s house on Sunday evenings, by proposing subjects for conversation and offering pertinent remarks upon them. And there were at that early period of his life palpable indications of that decision of character and boldness of address for which he came so remarkable.”

Robert Shindler, From the Usher’s Desk to
The Tabernacle Pulpit, 1892

Friday, August 24, 2012

Top Ten Television/Movie Truths? # 7

Periodically I am listing my version of a David Letterman’s “Top Ten List” for the most profound, however worldly, truths or quotes from a television show or movie. These truths are certainly nothing to shape or guide your world view. I just find them profound in and of themselves. I do not endorse these as programs or movies that have any redeeming qualities and you must use discretion if you choose to watch any of them. I just find certain lines fascinating for various reasons.

# 10 – “Cat-Heaven is a wonderful place, but you don’t get there if you are euthanized.” (Angela Martin, “The Office, Season 4 – Episode 1)

# 9 – “There are over six billion people in the world…sometimes all you need is one.” (From a narration in One Tree Hill, Season Three – Episode 2)

#8 – “Sometimes there just ain’t enough rocks!” (Forest Gump, Forest Gump, the Movie)

Number Seven profound Television/Movie Truth:

“I am an early bird and a night owl, 
so I am wise and I have worms!”

Michael Scott, The Office,
Season Two, Episode Three

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Review: Spurgeon: A New Biography

Title:  Spurgeon: A New Biography

Author:  Arnold Dallimore

Publisher:  The Banner of Truth Trust

First Copyright:  1985

Type of Book:  Paperback

General Subject Matter:  A biography of the life and ministry of Charles H Spurgeon that goes beyond the surfaced to reveal he heart and soul of Spurgeon,

Price:  $16.00

ISBN:  0-85151-451-0 Reviews

The purpose for writing this book is given in Dallimore’s preface. Dallimore felt that even with all the information already published about Spurgeon few people fully understand the man and his ministry. Dallimore desired to reveal Spurgeon’s ability as a theologian and the methods he used in leading souls to Christ. Dallimore also purposed to reveal what he called, “the rugged, unbending strength” of Spurgeon’s character. Dallimore purposed to present the inner man of Charles Spurgeon, which would include his praying, sufferings, depressions, weaknesses and his strengths. Dallimore’s purpose in writing this biography was to give a deeper and more thorough glimpse in what he called “one of the greatest preachers of all Christian history.”

Dallimore strove to provide information that was accurate and yet revealed the real or essential Spurgeon. Dallimore writes for a very broad and general audience. Dallimore writes with a very informal and personal manner. Dallimore writes with great coherence, clarity, and honesty.

Dallimore’s book made a major impact upon me as I read it through twice completely. Dallimore gave me the opportunity to see Spurgeon more intimately. Dallimore solidified my opinion of Spurgeon as a great yet humble man of God called at the right time for the right purpose. It seems that Dallimore achieved his ultimate purpose in painting an intimate and revealing portrait of this great man of God. It is my opinion that Dallimore achieved his goal. I would heartily and with no reservations recommend this book to every believer in the body of Christ. Dallimore’s biography will challenge every believer to, forgive me, and “be all you can be” for Christ with whatever talents, gifts and abilities that God has given you.

Theme:  The essential Spurgeon

Thesis:  Spurgeon was a mighty man of God and one of the greatest preachers of all Christian history who was fully human.

Dallimore used both description and narration to develop his thesis. Dallimore provided great descriptions of the times, the environment, and the experiences that surrounded Spurgeon which made him who he was. Dallimore was quite gifted in presenting great detail about various subjects; such as the surrounding countryside, individuals who influenced Spurgeon, the theological trends of the day, and Spurgeon’s own personality.

Dallimore also used narration to tell Spurgeon’s story chronologically. Dallimore told us the story of the development of Spurgeon the man, the husband, the father, and the pastor.

This book was extremely interesting. I love learning about the inner workings of this dear man of God. It was hard to put this book down. Each new paragraph brought new details that I just had to devour.

It seems that Dallimore was extremely accurate in his presentation. This book is filled with footnotes documenting each point, each example, and illustration. Dallimore was, I would say, very objective. It is very easy to slip into subjectivity when writing about such a spiritual giant.

Dallimore seems to build his biography with four powerful but simplistic arguments. First, God prepared Spurgeon during the first 19 years of his life to be able to take on his greatest opportunities. Second, the first nine years in London continued to prepare and develop this man into what he would become through the coming to New Park Street, his marriage, the conflict which ensued, and the revival that visited London. Third, God continued to develop this man with a long period of mature ministry for some twenty-five (25) years of great harvest. Fourth, the preparation by God for the removal of this great man from both his ministry and this earth in the last five (5) years of his life.

Dallimore was accurate, objective, and insightful as he presented these various arguments. For example, Spurgeon lived with his grandfather for a short time when he was young. This was very beneficial in his development.

“Little Charles had the privilege of spending much time with his grandfather. Even when parishioners called to have their pastor advise and pray with them in their problems he often kept the lad at this side and when the gathered with a company of ministers to discuss theological questions the boy remained, listening and doing his best to understand. Charles introduction to the consideration of theological questions thus began very early”. [1]

“In February 1854, at the age of nineteen, Spurgeon entered his ministry in London. He came on three months trial, but his labor there was to last till his death nearly forty years later.

As the people had expected the New Park Street attendance jumped immediately. Within a month the chapel was crowded, with the seats filled, the aisles packed, and people sitting in the windows and standing shoulder to shoulder in the Sunday school area. All manner of reports about this ministry spread across London.” [2]

I agree with Dallimore whole-heartedly. He develops true or accurate arguments that substantiate each point he makes.

Dallimore’s book raises several issues. First, he raises the issue of how a mere youth of seventeen can be called to a pastorate and enjoys so much success from God?  He also shows how unique Spurgeon was by his call to New Park Street at nineteen when seasoned veteran pastors wanted this pulpit. Second, he raises the issue of the effectiveness of this man who sought to be holy, honor God in all things, and depended upon prayer rather than human ingenuity or innovation. He raised the issue of cooperation of believers in various denominations and within their own denomination. He raised the issue of doctrinal purity.

I don’t think Dallimore omitted anything. I don’t think Dallimore raised any problems that he didn’t solve or questions that he didn’t answer. This was a very convincing and objective biography of a very unusual man. Due to the facts being the same and the “story” very similar this book is similar to Iain Murray’s biography on Spurgeon. I wouldn’t consider this a re-working of Murray’s book. Dallimore is quite unique in his presentation of historical facts.

Arnold Dallimore was the pastor of the Cottam Baptist Church in Cottam Ontario, Canada for twenty four (24) years.  Dallimore also wrote a two volume biography on George Whitfield and a biography of Jonathan Edwards.

This book contains an annotated bibliography and a general subject index in the rear. There are extensive footnotes throughout this book documenting the utilized sources. The footnotes clarify and extend the points made in the main body.

My general conclusions are that this is a sound book. It will help anyone wanting to know more about Charles Haddon Spurgeon. I found this book to be interesting and informative. It challenged me to want to have the same testimony of Spurgeon. Dallimore’s summary of the life and times of Spurgeon are moving and convincing.

“Thus, while the soul of Charles Surgeon was in the presence of the Lord, his body was placed within its tomb, there to await, as Archibald Brown has so beautifully stated, the dawn of the resurrection morning.

And the people returned to London, to take up their duties in the Tabernacle, the college, the almshouses, the orphanage, and the numerous missions and schools, to labor with fervor and patience as they had one for years, but yet to feel a sad difference, for the leader, the pastor they had loved, was no longer there.

How rich his life had been. He had walked with God and lived in prayer…His one purpose had been to “preach Jesus Christ and him crucified,” and in this determination he had devoted all his talents-the extraordinary memory, the great powers of public speech – and his joy had been found in bringing glory to the savior and in leading souls to know Him.” [3]

Spurgeon was a mighty man of God and one of the greatest preachers of all Christian history who was fully human.

[1] Arnold Dallimore, Spurgeon: A New Biography, (Carlisle: Banner of Trust, 1985), p. 5
[2] Ibid., p. 47
[3] Ibid., p. 238

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Steps to the Study of Scripture Part VII


We come now to the sixth step in bible study. This step focuses on the application of the passage that we studied. It is here we are taking the scriptural principles and truths that we have drawn out of the next (not read into the text) and applying them to our lives.

You should have been thinking along the way how this passage applies to your own life. Ideas should have popped into your head about changes in your personal attitude or actions that you can adopt or activate. It is at this step that you now focus directly on the application.

Keep in mind that the Scripture is not your own personal Ouija board or “guide to the stars.” In order to arrive at accurate application, correct interpretation must have been done. There is no secret or personal “message” in Scripture for you. Your challenge is properly arriving at the original intention of the original author and reaching a proper application for your live today. This is the challenge of any bible study; bridging the gap between the original intent of the author in the ancient text and the application for today’s living.

6.1    List the life issues contained in your passage

·        Make a list of the possible life issues that are mentioned explicitly, implicitly, or logically.

·        There may be only one or quite possibly several issues

·        Include them all at first

·        Eliminate those which you judge to be less significant or relevant 

6.2    Clarify the possible nature and area of application

·        Arrange your list according to whether the passage or parts of the passage are by nature, informative or directive

·        Then list them according to whether they deal with the area of faith or action (I call this attitude or action)

6.3    Identify the specific changes that need to be made

·        Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the areas of attitude or action that need to take place in your life. What do you need to “stop” doing, or what do you need to “start doing?”

·        Ask the Holy Spirit to extricate truths from our passage that have direct bearing on the areas He has illuminated

·        Ask the Holy Spirit to motivate you to apply those truths to the various areas of your life that has been illuminated

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday's Treasure: How to Lead Fellow Believers into Sin

Over the years I have written a number of quotes, comments, pithy sayings, and poems in the fly-leafs of my bibles. Each Tuesday I am going to share those various entries from my bibles with you. I hope they will be as much of blessing to you as they have been to me. Sometimes I will be able to give credit where credit is due and sometimes I won’t be able to credit the source. I apologize for this to each one who contributed these gems over the last forty years.

Today’s Treasure: 

How to Lead Fellow Believers into Sin

1.      Demonstrate personal favoritism amongst believers

2.      Deny personal funds to others when they have legitimate needs

3.      Discuss personal failures of others in malicious gossip

4.      Despise personal features of others that irritate us

5.      Display personal freedom carnally before weaker brothers

6.      Divorce personal faithfulness from everyday lifestyle

7.      Denounce personal failings as excusable

8.      Demand personal fulfillment at the expense of others

9.      Derail personal foresight of prudence and discretion

10.    Devise personal frivolity over spiritual disciplines

*Alliteration is by my design
** Numbers 6- 10 were added by me to the list I recorded years ago

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gregg's Rules

Apparently Leroy Jethro Gibbs from NCIS has rules, called Gibbs' Rules, that he enforces with everyone on his team. In season three, episode five (5) called "Switch" he told Ziva that there are approximately fifty rules. However, only a few rules have been revealed.

So, when it comes to reading and books, I must have rules that I enforce also. I must also have approximately fifty (50) rules, since Gibbs is no better than me. Since I just learned of this, only a few of my rules have been revealed. Here are the ones that have been revealed thus far. Stay tuned for further revelation. 

Gregg’s Rules

1.  Never let good theological books remain unread

2.  Never handle books without tender loving care

3.  Never overpay for books; use

4.  Never depend upon someone else for study – study and verify yourself

5.  Never be too busy to read

6.  Never keep a good book to yourself – always share beneficial truths with others, especially me

7.  Never take a good theological book for granted; cherish them as a grandmother cherishes her grandchildren

8.  Never read a book without a pen or pencil

9.  Never read a book without becoming involved with the book and the author

10.  When you finish a really good book recommend it others, especially me

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sundays in the Study BS12-001

“Introduction to the First Epistle of John”
(Part I)

The Appetizerlet’s stimulate interest

·        Why do writers open their books with introductions?
·        What are the components of a good introduction?
·        Has a good introduction caused you to read a book?
·        Has a bad introduction stopped you from reading a book?

The Adaptation – let’s adapt the appetizer to our lesson

Tonight and over the next two Wednesday evenings, I intend to introduce to you a letter written over 2,000 years ago by a man named John in order to properly understand and apply the divinely inspired material contained in this letter.

The Argument – let’s discover the main idea of our lesson

This letter was written by the Apostle John to the churches of Asia under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit around AD 85-90 for the spiritual welfare of God’s children. Therefore, it needs to be carefully studied, learned, and applied by each one of us today.

The Aim – the change you need to make as a result of this lesson

I challenge you to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of this letter so as to make application in your daily walk with Christ. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday's with Spurgeon #001

If they could but see that all their high joys do not exalt them, and all their low despondencies do not really depress them in their Father’s sight, but that they stand accepted in one who never alters, in one who is always the beloved of God, always perfect, always without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, how much happier they would be, and how much more they would honour the Saviour!

Pastor Charles H. Spurgeon,
Metropolitan Tabernacle

Friday, August 17, 2012

What is Your FIRST Priority?

Spurgeon’s first priority was bringing glory to Christ! Listen to what Mrs. Susannah Spurgeon wrote about her husband:

I remember…the Sunday evening when he preached from the text, “His name shall endure forever.” It was a subject in which he reveled, it was his chief delight to exalt his glorious Saviour, and he seemed in that discourse to be pouring out his very soul and life in homage and adoration before his gracious king.

But I really thought he would have died there, in face of all those people! At the end of the sermon he made a might effort to recover his voice, but utterance well-nigh failed, and only in broken accents could the pathetic peroration be  heard—“Let my name perish, but let Christ’s name last forever! Jesus! JESUS! (Sic) Crown Him Lord of all! You will not hear me say anything else. There are my last words in Exeter Hall for this time. Jesus! Jesus! JESUS! (Sic) Crown Him Lord of all!” and then he fell back, almost fainting, in the chair behind him. [1]

Mrs. Susannah Spurgeon,
Taken from Arnold Dallimore’s Spurgeon, A New Biography

[1] Iain Murray, ed., The Early Years (London: Banner of Truth, 1962), p. 294

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Based on a Scorsese's EXCLUSIVE Alternate iPhone Commercial

Lord, what’s my day look like?”

I’m sorry my son, I choose not to tell you in advance. My desire is that you trust me, look to me, and avail yourself of the mercy and grace that is yours for the asking when you draw near the throne of grace.”

“Are you serious, Lord?”

“Can you make my day pleasant and have all things work toward my advantage and pleasure?”

“Son, as your day unfolds and you rest in me, relying on the grace that I promise, your day will make much of my nature and character and each event of today will fashion you into the image of my dear Son.”

“Can you at least tell me how the traffic is heading downtown?”

“It’s headed downtown primary with automobiles.”

“Really, Lord?” “You hit me with humor?”

“I love you Lord, I will go places only with you.”

“Do you love me more than these my son?”

“Yes Lord, you know that I love you.”

“Do you love me?”

“Yes Lord, you know that I love you.”

“Do you love Me my Son?”

“Lord you know everything; you know that I love you.”
I don’t have an iPhone nor does the phone I have talk to me. However, unlike SIRI, I can turn to my heavenly Father with confidence and stand before the throne of grace and find everything that I need for my day!

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through eh heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession…Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14, 16, ESV)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Steps to the Study of Scripture Part VI


5.  Biblical-Theological Context

It is time to get the ole thinking cap out and do some real thinking about how this passage relates to other scripture and towards Christian theology. Remember the passage or even chapter that you are currently studying was not written in a vacuum, nor was it meant to stand independent of the rest of the book or the bible. You analyze the passage you are studying in view of seeing how it relates to the rest of scripture.

5.1 Analyze the passage’s relationship to the rest of Scripture

It is time to ask several questions of your passage. Thinking through these answers and then writing them out will help you in this step. Ask your passage:

·        What is your passage similar or even dissimilar to?
·        Is your passage one of many similar passages or is it unique?
·        What gaps in Christian history, philosophy, or doctrine does it fill?
·        Do other scriptures make this passage more understandable?
·        Where does your passage fit in in the overall structure of biblical revelation?
·        What value does this passage have for you, a student of the bible?

For example, if you are studying I Peter 2:18-25, you would want to analyze some similar passages such as; (Eph.6:5-9; Col. 3:22-4-1; I Tim. 6:1-2; Titus 2:9-10.

5.2 Analyze the passage’s use in and relation to theology

First, don’t be afraid of the word theology. Technically, it means “the study of God.” It came to be used for a body of study. To us lay people in the church it merely means “teaching” or “doctrine.” How does your passage relate to other teachings in the bible? Answering the following questions will help you answer this question.

·        What theological doctrine does the passage shed light on?
·        What are the theological concerns or implications in your passage?
·        Does the passage raise concerns or questions about some theological issue?
·        How does your passage harmonize with the greater theological whole of scripture?
·        How does this passage help you (and others) become more theologically consistent with the rest of scripture and its teachings?

When you have finished answering these questions (and others that you might think of) write your answers in a paragraph form. This shouldn’t take that long nor be that involved. Yes, the thinking process might take several minutes to a few hours. Once thought through and answered however, your writing the answers down into a “synopsis” should not take long. However, it will of great benefit to you in the understanding of your passage.

Do you remember the three greatest secrets in real estate? Well if you don’t they are 1) location; 2) location; 3) location. The three greatest secrets in theology are 1) context; 2) context; 3) context. Analyzing the text is one of your greatest tools. Always be cognizant of biblical or theological context.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday's Treasure #2

Over the years I have written a number of quotes, comments, pithy sayings, and poems in the fly-leafs of my bibles. Each Tuesday I am going to share those various entries from my bibles with you. I hope they will be as much of blessing to you as they have been to me. Sometimes I will be able to give credit where credit is due and sometimes I won’t be able to credit the source. I apologize for this to each one who contributed these gems over the last forty years.

Today’s Treasure: 

How to Pulverize Sin

1Prize God over sin

2.  Pursue God rather than sin

3.  Prevail over sin in faith by the word of God

4.  Promote the ugliness of sin

5.  Present yourself unreservedly to God

6.  Presume sin will find you out

7. Purge sin by confession

8.  Pulverize sin as if your life depends on it

9.  Procure the help of the Holy Spirit

10.  Pray for deliverance from sin and temptation

11.  Pause to remember God has given all we need to live godly in Christ Jesus

12.  Ponder the glories of God that are ravished by sin

Monday, August 13, 2012

Spurgeon, the great “soul-winner” preached without embarrassment the doctrines of grace to the very end. In one of his later sermons at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, preached in October 1890 he declared:

“Now brethren, we are to praise God because all spiritual blessings have come to us in the same way as our election came, ‘according as he hath chosen us in him.’ How did that come? Well, it came of his free sovereign grace. He loved us because he would love us. He chose us because he would choose us. ‘You have not chosen me; but I have chosen you.’ If there be any virtue, if there be any praise in us now, he put it there. To the bottomless abyss of his infinite goodness we must trace the election of his grace.” [1]

(From History of the English Calvinistic Baptists, p. 353)

[1] C. H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 38, (1892; repr. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1991), p. 355