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.”]

Continue reading

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

Why We Cannot Endorse Rezolution 2013

20060228081450!Stop_hand

In the lastweek or so, it has come to my attention, that many Reformed brothers and sisters in South Africa are exited about the coming Rezolution Conference , being held in South Africa in April . I have some concerns about the speakers as they are all from the Young, Restless, Reformed movement also known as the New Calvinism movement.  Hearing names like Tim Keller , who is a leader in this new movement is concerning,  as Keller,  has in recent years embraced  mysticism  &  theistic evolution. Tim Keller’s books are also highly recommended by pastors and teachers across South Africa in  Reformed churches.

While Keller claims to be a Reformed Protestant, his writings reveal a profound empathy with the Roman Catholic Church. In The Reason for God (2008) he refers to the Catholic Church as “the largest church in the world”.[2]  He explains that he believes in a broad definition of Christianity that includes the Church of Rome. He says that “all Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christians assent together to the great creeds.”[3] And this, in Keller’s mind, means that Roman Catholics are real Christians. He frequently quotes from Roman Catholic sources and authors. (Points 1-3 above taken from here http://www.newcalvinist.com/kellers-affinity-with-rome/kellers-mysticism/) Continue reading

The End of Self….The Beginning of Christ

543915_402702803145838_1076675717_n

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
taken from: Cured At Last!, sermon No. 2018, April 8, 1888.

“All that you do apart from Jesus, in order to win salvation, will only cause you increased suffering. You have tried to save yourself by prayers. Your prayers have turned your thoughts upon your sin and its punishment and thus you have become more wretched than before. You have attended to ceremonies and if you have used them sincerely, they have worked in you a solemn sense of the holiness of God and of your own distance from Him. And this, though very proper, has only increased your sorrow. You have been trying to feel good and to do good, that so you may be good. But the very effort has made you feel how far off you are from the goodness you so much desire.

Your self-denial has excited cravings after evil and your mortifications have given new life to your pride. Efforts after salvation made in your own strength act like the struggles of a drowning man, which sink the more surely. As the fruit of your desperate efforts, you have suffered all the more. In the end I trust this may work for your good, but up till now it has served no healing purpose—you are now at death’s door and all your praying, weeping, Church-going, Chapel-going and sacrament-taking—do not help you one bit. There has been this peculiarly poignant pang about it all, that you are not better. Cheerily did you hope but cruelly are you disappointed. Continue reading

Getting Past the TULIP

Tulip Nico

Michael S. Horton

“Like Christ’s redeeming work, then, faith is not merely offered but is actually conferred, by sheer grace and without any obligation to grant it.”

Just as Luther’s followers preferred to be called “evangelicals” but were labeled “Lutherans” by Rome, around 1558 Lutherans coined the term “Calvinist” for those who held Calvin’s view of the Supper over against both Zwingli and Luther. Despite self-chosen labels such as “evangelical” and “Reformed” (preferred because the aim was always to reform the catholic church rather than start a new one), “Calvinism” unfortunately stuck as a popular nickname.

No Central Dogma  Continue reading

Here I stand. Immovable.

standing firm

Many today are willing to forsake the very foundation truths of Holy Scripture for the sake of “unity”. This we cannot do.

There are some things, plainly revealed in the Word of God, vital to the faith of the gospel, and burned into our souls. Upon these things we must stand with unbending, absolute firmness, even if we have to stand totally alone. These things are not debatable!

1. The God of Heaven is Continue reading

GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY DEFINED

550644_188893077915195_157526972_n

People who vehemently fight against the Doctrines of Grace,  have NO understanding of Scripture,  it is due to a lack of understanding and reading the Word of God. This is why there are so many , stupid , senseless ugly arguments about the doctrines of election on Social media. People are not taught the Bible at most churches today, hence the lack of and rejection of the Bible. People wake up and study the Word! Continue reading

If God is so powerful and so good, why do bad things happen?

 “SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD”

“Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”

There are basically two aspects in any definition of sovereignty. In order for anyone to be a king he must possess, (1) Absolute Authority, and, (2) All Power. A king must have the right to rule, and the ability to carry out his will. God said through Isaiah, “.. for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me .. My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Isa. 46:9-10. Our God is a unique King in that his reign is eternal, “..the LORD sitteth King for ever.” Psa. 29:10.

A — DEFINITION OF SOVEREIGNTY:

“That the great God, blessed for ever, hath an absolute power and right dominion over his creatures, to dispose and determine of them as seemeth him good. Elisha Coles, God’s Sovereignty.” P 1.

B — PLACE OF SOVEREIGNTY:

We are not to think necessarily that sovereignty is an attribute of God. It is the conclusion of all His attributes. When we read that God is holy, just, love, gracious, merciful, all-wise, all-powerful, yea, all the works of God we see displayed, we reckon that He is sovereign! This is of extreme value to the child of God, to know there is no greater than his God.

“Although the sovereignty of God is universal and absolute, it is not the sovereignty of blind power. It is coupled with infinite wisdom, holiness, and love. And this doctrine, when properly understood, is a most comforting and reassuring one. Who would not prefer to have his affairs in the hands of a God of infinite power, wisdom, holiness and love, rather than to have them left to fate, or chance, or irrevocable natural law, or to short-sighted and perverted self? Those who reject God’s sovereignty should consider what alternatives they have left.” Loraine Boettner.

All of the works of God described in the Bible indicate that He is sovereign and that he has such authority and power, even as we are told in our text, “..the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” When John, in the Revelation, saw inside heaven he saw, “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb.” Rev.21:22 Continue reading

Abhoring Error and Loving the Truth

21700_10151202424473440_863888957_n

By Horatius Bonar

“Our Reformers, following Scripture, abhorred error. They regarded it as sin, as in itself evil, and as the root of almost every evil. They loved truth, upheld it, sought to spread it. They eschewed error as poison; they prized truth as medicine, containing in it the world’s true health. They knew that men might have it and yet not use it, that they might abuse it, that they might ‘hold it in unrighteousness;’ but they loved it still, and refused to believe that any untruth, however beautiful, however well argued or well adorned, however recommended by authority, or antiquity, or genius, could be available for the revivification of collapsed prostrate Europe, for expelling the poison of ages from the veins of humanity, for bracing the constitution of the race, even apart from the great purpose of saving the lost, of gathering in the chosen of the Father, the purchased of the Son.

Our Reformers, working on the model of the Bible, laboured to set truth before the nations. They did not despise ‘head knowledge.’ They were careful that head knowledge should be true knowledge; and, in so far as it was so, they urged its widest propagation; undeterred by the thought which acts as a drag or damper on some, ‘What is the use of head knowledge without heart knowledge?’ They had confidence in truth, because it was of God, and because it was the representative of Him who is the wisdom and the truth of God. Continue reading

Christmas and the gift of election

bethlehem-star

Every child of God is the object of eternal love without beginning and without end. This is one of the fat things full of marrow. Is it so, that I, a believer in Jesus, unworthy as I am, am the object of the eternal love of God? What transport lies in that thought! Long before the Lord began to create the world, he had thought of me. Long ere Adam fell or Christ was born, and the angels sung their first choral over Bethlehem’s miracle, the eye and the heart of God were towards his elect people. He never began to love them, they were always “a people near unto him.” Is it not so written, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore, with lovingkindness have I drawn thee”? Some kick at the doctrine of election, but they are ill advised, since they labour to overturn one of the noblest dishes of the feast; they would dam up one of the coolest streams that flow from Lebanon; they would cover over with rubbish one of the richest veins of golden ore that make rich the people of God. Continue reading