Unfriend Yourself

Unfriendbook

Unfriend Yourself: Three Days to Detox, Discern, and Decide About Social Media 

The last time long ago when I posted a similar link, about the same subject , I got a lot of flack, from Social media Facebook friend.  Well come on give me flack again.  But this is a good read and gives one a lot to think about, our roles we play on Social media as believers. “While we would love to believe that social media can give us a place to “know and be known,” the question is whether that can happen through mediated communication. Sure, I can read about someone’s burdens and joys, but can I truly weep with those who weep when they are in their house and I am in mine? I don’t think so. I can weep for them but certainly not with them” (Kindle Locations 417-420)

Reblogged from The Reformed Reader 

I really enjoyed this short book on social media and the Christian life:Unfriend Yourself by Kyle Tennant.  It’s only 97 pages long so one can Continue reading

Semper Reformanda: Always being reformed by God, NOT man always reforming the church

church ruins 1

Grant Swart

A confounding and misleading message is being bandied about at will by many authors and theologians who regard themselves as being of the reformed faith. It is based on a misappropriation of the phrase ecclesia reformata et semper reformanda. What is often understood from the context in which they commonly apply the abridged version, being simply semper reformanda, is that the church itself should constantly be seeking ways to reform, or actively pursuing new or better avenues in an effort to retain or advance its reformed position.

There is not a single reference in Scripture to support this approach; in fact, there are explicit warnings against our trying to perform this type of enhancement to Christ’s work and His church. Nowhere in the Word of God are Christians commissioned, mandated or yoked with doing that which God alone can do. Christians do not have a calling to conform to the teachings, creeds, confessions, hypotheses or traditions of the reformation per se, however, that is not implying that most of what the reformers stood for was wrong, unnecessary or not based on Scripture. Indeed, the fives solas and emphasis on the sovereign grace of God, are summarizations of that which the reformers stood for, are truths and tools of significant value.

Christians do not have the ability to reform Christ’s possession and are under no obligation to do so. Followers of Christ have no duty to reform the church, which they might perform according to their individual abilities, or choose to neglect to perform by reason of their disobedience. True Christians are by nature of their standing before God, reformed by God’s Holy Spirit, not by any value or effort toward that reformation on their part. Christ’s church is reformed by nature of God’s work, not by the enthusiastic efforts or contributions of man. The truth concerning semper reformanda, is that God does the reforming, as He has done and will continue to do in eternity and not only for the last five centuries. Semper reformanda is not an instruction to men to always be reforming the church, it is an inevitability of Gods will that His church is always being reformed.

[ I am told that, subsequent to my posting of this article, there has been an amusing accusatory response of little significance, towards For the Love of His Truth by certain religionists in the social media. As insignificant though, as these accusers are, nevertheless, I will respond. These accusations have apparently been made by religious zealots posing as guardians of the reformed faith, who hold the authority of the Reformation and the Reformers in far higher regard than they do Scripture, the sovereignty of God or the church of Jesus Christ. In a misguided and futile attempt to discredit the the authors who write for this blog, and others whose work has been posted here, they have issued ridiculous and immature “warnings” to others that For the Love of His Truth is not of the “reformed” faith. As if wearing a label which says, “Reformed”, equates to being a child of God saved by His grace!

The terms “Reformed” and “Christian” may often be used conjunctively, however, in and of themselves they describe two entirely different salvific contexts. In essence. “reformed” describes a man made theory derived from Scripture, it is a structured set of gridlines through which Scripture can be read and understood, and subsequently be applied as refutation against the heresies of Roman Catholicism and other will-worshipping and professing Christians. “Christian” describes a sinner who has been washed clean by his being adopted as a child of God by Jesus and through being spiritually regenerated by the Holy Spirit in accordance with the will of God, into perfect righteousness, which was purchased on his behalf, by the Blood of Christ on the Cross.

Our position regarding this issue has repeatedly been stipulated on this blog: we are followers of Jesus Christ, we are children of God by way of His grace, we are Christians, we bow down before the Almighty Triune God of the Christian and Holy Bible, and we regard the Word of God (Jesus Christ the Saviour) as the final and singular authority and finisher of our faith. We bow down before no man made creed, confession, or denomination. Christianity did not have its origin with the Reformation, it starts and ends with Christ alone.

Furthermore, the antagonistic religionists failed to read what I stated unequivocally in this article, which is in support of the reformers:“Christians do not have a calling to conform to the teachings, creeds, confessions, hypotheses or traditions of the reformation per se, however, that is not implying that most of what the reformers stood for was wrong, unnecessary or not based on Scripture. Indeed, the fives solas and emphasis on the sovereign grace of God, are summarizations of that which the reformers stood for, and are truths and tools of significant value.”]

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TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT SALVATION

truth-is-still-truth

Grant Swart

I pray that it is my humble and heartfelt intent to write concerning an earnest directive which believers have been given, and that is, to truthfully pass on to those who do not know the Lord, the liberating and glorious facts concerning the means of salvation which the Gospel proclaims. When we consider all which constitutes the doctrine of salvation in the Gospel, it is impossible to disentangle it from the truth about God, the truth about men, the truth about sin, and the truth about Christ.

So often today the word “salvation” is used in very loose terms, ascribing to it many man-centered, phony ideas and fanciful doctrines which sound reasonable and very appealing to man’s conscience and which man readily accepts. Many of these are simply intended to soothe man’s guilty conscience, and leave him with a false comfort that man himself remains the ‘captain of his soul’ and in control of his eternal destiny. However, biblical truth about salvation is that man is not in any position to determine or secure his own salvation, by means of a decision or by applying his will or effort.

One is not likely to hear from the mouths of most preachers, that man is hopelessly unable to choose to follow God, or to decide to allow God into his life. Contrary to what many billboards around our country proclaim, man cannot, and indeed will never want to, turn back to God, unless he has been called to do so by God. Continue reading

Why Don’t All People Come To Christ?

Turning away

Don Fortner

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” (John 5:39-40)

Faith in Christ is set before us in many different ways in Scripture. Faith is looking to Christ. — “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22). — “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us” (Psalms 123:2). Faith is trusting Christ, as a son trusts his father. — “O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee” (Psalms 84:12). Faith is seeking Christ, as a man seeks something he has lost. Faith is laying hold of Christ, as a drowning man lays hold of a life-line. And saving faith is described in Scripture as coming to Christ. The Lord Jesus is able to save to the uttermost all them that come to God by him. Believers are described by Peter as a people coming to the Savior. — “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, andprecious” (1 Peter 2:4).

How often poor, needy sinners came to Christ, or were brought to him in desperate need, while he walked on the earth. And as often as a needy soul came to our omnipotent, ever-gracious, all-merciful Savior, he obtained the healing power and saving mercy he needed (Matthew 8:1-3; 9:1-8, 20-22, 18-26, 27-31). Salvation is obtained by coming to Christ. The Lord Jesus is able to save all who come to God by him. The Lord Jesus has promised that he will save all who come to him. (Matthew 11:28; John 6:37; John 7:37-38). And in the Gospel narratives every poor sinner who came to Christ obtained the salvation he sought.

In John 5:39-40 our Lord Jesus is talking to religious people, people who went to church every week, people who read and studied the Bible. He says, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” These were Bible thumping, conservative, religious, church going people, people who read, memorized, and studied the Word of God. Yet, our Savior said to these religious people, — “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Continue reading

Charismaticism: fraud, lies, arrogance and deception

rotten-apple 1

Grant Swart

Since the initial publishing of the accompanying article, significant developments have taken place within the charismatic movement, and none for the better. The deception and lies of this enormous cult have taken on far greater proportions and the claws of the heretical movement have been sunk into a much broader section of, what is seen to be, the Christian faith, with damning, tragic and devastatingly sad consequences.

Even significant parts of the Reformed church, much of which was regarded as the guardian of relatively ‘safe’, conservative and sound doctrinal Christianity, has been infected by this cancerous and Satanic movement. New Calvinism, or Reformed Charismaticism, is fast becoming the latest fad in many church circles, who seem to have become bored with upholding the truth in the Word. Increasing the support for this demonic charismania, we have international conferences, the enormous influence of multi media and “heavyweight” proponents such as John Piper, CJ Mahaney, Kevin De Young, Mark Dever, Mark Driscoll, Albert Mohler, Tim Keller, Joshua Harris and Ligon Duncan driving the deception deep into the flesh of the church.

The fact that so few church leaders are speaking out CLEARLY and without ambiguity against this deception is cause for great concern to believers. It is even worse when our spiritual leaders are prepared to support and embrace the lies, fraud, arrogance and deception of these ravenous wolves in the charismatic sphere of the church.

The subtle horror of this deception is leaving great gaping wounds on the hearts of our people. The lifeblood of the church continues to bleed away, yet the faithful know that at the core of the church, Jesus Continue reading

SANCTIFICATION: Why & how can God accept sinners into His Presence?

sanctification

Grant Swart

DEFINING A BIG WORD: SANCTIFICATION

Firstly, we should define what the word sanctification means. Put simply, sanctification is the act or process of being made or becoming holy. To sanctify is literally ”to set apart for special use or purpose”, figuratively “to make holy or sacred”, and etymologically from the Latin verb sancitificare which in turn is from sanctus (holy), and facere (to make).

The fancy word, etymology, simply means the study of the history of words and where they originated from, but of course you knew that, didn’t you?

Sanctification means taking something that is common and ordinary and setting it apart, for God’s purpose and for His service alone. According to the Scriptures and the experience of saved believers, sanctification is an act of God, not something which is done by man.

In Scripture sanctification is mentioned in many places, underlining the importance of the sanctified condition. Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke of sanctification in John 17 while He prayed: 16-19 “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.” Continue reading

CHRIST’S LONELINESS AND OURS

Foot prints in the sand 1

Charles  Haddon  Spurgeon 

NO. 3052

A Sermon published on Thursday , August 8 , 1907 , At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington 

“Jesus answered them, Do you now believe? Behold, the hour comes, yes, is now come, that you shall be scattered, every
man to his own, and shall leave Me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”
John 16:31, 32

“Do you now believe?” Then it seems that faith held them fast to Christ, but as soon as fear prevailed they were scattered and left their Master alone. Faith has an attracting and upholding power. It is the root of constancy and the source of perseverance under the power of God’s Spirit. While we believe, we remain faithful to our Lord. When we are unbelieving, we are scattered, “every man to his own.” While we trust, we follow closely. When we give way to fear, we ungratefully forsake our Lord. May the Holy Spirit maintain our faith in full vigor that it may nourish all our other Graces! Faith being strong, no faculty of the inner man will languish, but if faith declines, the energy of our spiritual nature speedily decays. If you believe not, you shall not be established, but “the just shall live by faith” to the fullest force of life.

This being noted, our meditation shall now be fixed alone upon the Savior’s loneliness and the measure in which the Believer is brought into the same condition.

I. THE LONELINESS OF THE SAVIOR. Continue reading