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Category: » Other’s Thoughts - Blasted Gourds

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Peter Jeffery on Evangelism and Being Different

The following is a quote from Peter Jeffery’s small book “Moving Out With the Christian Faith”.  This small book packs a much needed punch.  It will challenge you, convict you, strengthen you, and encourage you in the area of true evangelism.

The Christians in the Acts of the Apostles caused a stir everywhere they went because they were different.  Their lives, actions, ambitions and believes were different, and people took note of them.  Today we try desperately to make our faith acceptable to people by making our Christianity no different from their lifestyle.  So Christians go to the pub after church for a drink; Christians laugh at the world’s unsavoury jokes; Christians delight in the world’s ungodly music.  We are desperately trying to show them that really we are exactly like them.

The result is that the church has no effect upon the world.  The world ignores us.  Why should it bother if we are not different?  But the Bible calls us to be different; and this difference can be a very importan means of evangelism.  Howe often have you heard a testimony of salvation in which the person says that what first attracted him to Christianity was a friend who ‘had something I did not have’?

Creeds & Confessions by Carl Trueman

While the objection to them is often couched in language that appears to be jealous for biblical authority, there are also powerful forces at work within our modern world that militate against adherence to historical statements of the Christin faith. As the goldfish swimming in the bowl is unaware of the temperature and taste of the water in which he swims, so often the most powerfully formative forces of our societies and cultures are those with which we are so familiar as to be functionally unaware of how they shape our thinking, even our thinking about what exactly it means to say that Scripture has supreme and unique authority. It would be tragic irony if the rejection of creeds and confessions by so many of those who sincerely wish to be biblically faithful turned out to be not an act of faithfulness but rather an unwitting capitulation to the spirit of the age.

In other words, we are impacted by our society more than we think.  Therefore, we should not lean on our own understanding so much or so quickly.  Trueman rightfully asserts that we all are confessional, “the difference is simply whether one adheres to a public confession, subject to public scrutiny, or to a private confession that is, but its very nature, immune to such examination.”  More simply stated, we all abide by a confession, most people today abide by a private confession of their own, rather than one that is agreed upon and tested.

Reformation Day Trick or Treating

With all the free books and teachings for Reformation day it feels like Trick or Treating out here on the web today.  Here is a roundup of some of the free things that are worth looking into.

Better hurry, many of these turn back into a Pumpkin at midnight.

Francis Schaeffer on Who is Jesus?

I have come to the point where, when I hear the word ‘Jesus’ which means so much to me because of the Person of the historic Jesus and his work – I listen carefully because I have with sorrow become more afraid about the word ‘Jesus’ than almost any other word in the modern world.  The word is used as a content-less banner, and our generation is invited to follow it.  But there is no rational scriptural content by which to test it, and thus the word is being used to teach the very opposite things from those taught by Jesus.  We have come to this fearsome place where the word ‘Jesus’ has become the enemy of the Person Jesus, and the enemy of what Jesus taught.

Peter Jeffery on True Happiness in the New Year

WORDS OF LIFE PSALM 1
In the Psalms ‘blessed’ means happy, so Psalm 1 is telling us
what is necessary to make a man happy.
At this time of the year you will be wishing friends a happy
New Year and they will be doing the same to you. The words
give a certain amount of pleasure, but what exactly do they
mean?
They generally mean that we hope that the circumstances
of life will shine favourably upon our loved ones. For most
people happiness depends entirely upon circumstances. This
is a fallacy, but people believe it, with the result that happiness
becomes a fleeting allusion, always dancing in and out
of our lives and never constant or permanent.
For the psalmist happiness is independent of circumstances and
depends upon our relationship with God.
The happy man does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
(v. 1) — he does not take his standards and lifestyle from the
current whims of the world.
So what is it that makes him happy? We are told in verse 2.
He has a standard that does not change. He takes God seriously.
Because of this he has stability (v. 3) and is not shaken
by every adverse circumstance.
Here is a good thought to start the new year with — be
determined that you will take God seriously. Don’t be like so
many who just play around with Christianity as if it is a Sunday
hobby.
Give more time to God so that your private devotions are
not a duty but a delight.
Learn to enjoy God. If you do this you will find that your
whole spiritual life will take on a new dimension and God will
be your happiness. Happy New Year.

One Way to Answer a Mormon

Here is the way one ex-mormon suggests Christians should answer a Mormon when they come to the door, instead of simply closing the door.
“I love the Lord Jesus Christ. My relationship with Him is so satisfying. I am so happy with my church. There is nothing you can give me that would be better than that.”

She suggests this as a challenge to a Christian’s own heart and satisfaction (are we truly satisfied in Christ), and as a challenge to the Mormon we are speaking to (Causing them to ask is Christ more satisfying than the Mormon faith).

Listen here to Laytane Scott and David Murray discuss Mormonism

Pride and Humility by JC Ryle

I found this a very helpful reminder:

Do you want to know the root and spring of humility?
One word describes it. The root of humility is right knowledge.

The person who really knows himself and his own heart,
who knows God and his infinite majesty and holiness,
who knows Christ and the price at which he was redeemed,
that person will never be a proud person.

He will count himself, like Jacob, unworthy of the least
of all God’s mercies. He will say of himself, like Job,
“I am unworthy.” He will cry, like Paul, “I am the worst
of sinners” He will consider others better than himself
(Philippians 2:3).

Ignorance–nothing but sheer ignorance, ignorance of
self, of God, and of Christ–is the real secret of pride.

From that miserable self-ignorance may we daily pray
to be delivered. The wise person knows himself and
will find nothing within to make him proud.

Printer Friendly Website

Ever go to print a webpage and then it spits out 10 pages of sidebar?  This website is great to make sure everything you print from the web comes out as paper efficiently as possible, Print Friendly.  You can even add a browser tool that lets you print out the page without having to go over to their website and cut and paste the link. Enjoy!

Quote: John MacArthur on Selfishness

Selfishness is one telltale sign of immaturity. Babies are completely self-centered. They scream if they don’t get what they want when they want it. All they are aware of are their own needs and desires. They never say thanks for anything. They can’t help others; they can’t give anything. They can only receive.

And certainly there’s nothing wrong with that when it occurs in the natural stage of infancy. But to see a child whose development is arrested so that he never gets beyond that stage of helpless selfishness—that is a tragedy.

And that is exactly the spiritual state of multitudes in the church today. They are utterly preoccupied with self. They want their own problems solved and their own comfort elevated. Their spiritual development is arrested, and they remain in a perpetual state of selfish helplessness. It is evidence of a tragic abnormality.

From an article “The Marks of Immaturity”

Is God Different in OT than in the NT?

Excellent answers by Dr. David Murray on a God that does not Change.  If we are to combat the schemes of the Devil we must read our Bibles, the whole counsel of God’s Word, the OT and the NT.