Living Trees In the Death of Winter

Oak Tree .jpg

But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.
(Isaiah 6:13 KJV)

Title:       Living Trees In the Death of Winter

 Text:       Isaiah 6:13

SubjectBeliever’s Compared to Leafless Trees

Date:      Sunday Evening – September 3, 1989

Introduction:

Have you ever noticed how frequently the Word of God refers to believers as trees?

Numbers 24:6 – We are described “As gardens by the riverside, as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as the cedar trees beside the waters.”

Psalm 1:3 – The believer is compared to “a tree that is planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth fruit in his season,” whose leaf shall not wither.

Psalm 52:8 – David sings, “I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.”

Psalm 92:12 – “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.  They shall still bring forth fruit in old age: they shall be fat and flourishing.”

Isaiah 61:3 – Believers are “called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 – “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”

All of these passages of scripture tell us five things about every child of God in this world.  Find a believer anywhere in the world, and you will find one of whom these five things are true.  Continue reading

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Lordship Salvation aka Progressive Sanctification? High fashion, yes, but not for Christians.

jesus is your sanctification

Grant Swart

I needed to jot down just a few more recent thoughts concerning the subject of (progressive) sanctification, as I have seen it gaining in popularity as a subject for discussion in certain circles, particularly I suppose, in the social media. This is additional to my most recent article on the subject at SANCTIFICATION: Why & how can God accept sinners into His Presence?

As a subject, I don’t believe that progressive sanctification should be handled with much kindness. It is a hideous and potentially fatal religious proposition. The highest possible price was paid for it, it belongs to God’s people exclusively, and it should not be allowed to become a plastic accessory to be worn by fashionistas of the commercial free-will religious order.

Free-will, works religion, also known as Arminianism or various forms of synergism, is the highly fashionable religion being practiced by great numbers of churchgoers in these times. Followers of this religious form of worship, under the guise of Christianity, now crowd the pews of the great majority of what were once, Biblical and God-fearing churches.

In these shiny new will-worshipping theatres are man-made pavilions with many steps leading upwards, each step representing a higher level of self-righteousness and perceived holiness on which proud men stand and display their shame before other men, as witness to them worshipping their own efforts and abilities (Col. 2:23).

In order to solicit more support, in the great eagerness of their own driven will, they have named this system of will worship. Some call it “Lordship Salvation”. Even more ostentatiously they might call it “progressive sanctification” and deluded men heap wondrous praise and elevated prestige onto those who put great effort into achieving improved righteousness. These great congregations, having placed themselves under the spiritual governance of the powerful hierarchies and church councils which they have elected for themselves to serve under, often find themselves becoming the victims of their own ill-begotten belief systems when the whip of contrived church discipline inevitably turns on them. Continue reading