bible

preached on September 03, 2006 posted originally here.

How far have we fallen?

J.I Packer … said this, “It does not seem possible to deny that the Puritans were the strongest just where evangelical Christians today are the weakest. Here were men of outstanding intellectual power in whom the mental habits fostered by sober scholarship were linked with a flaming zeal for God and a minute acquaintance with the human heart. All their work reveals this unique fusion of gifts and graces.

Where the Puritans called for order, discipline, depth and thoroughness, our temper is one of casual, haphazardness and restless impatience. We crave for stunts, novelties and entertainments. We lost our taste for solid study, humble self-examination, disciplines, meditation and unspectacular hard work in our study. Again where Puritanism had God and His glory as its unifying center, our thinking revolves around ourselves as if we were the hub of the universe.”

And so he writes, “In evangelizing we preach the gospel without the Law and faith without repentance, stressing the gift of salvation and glossing over the cost of discipleship. No wonder so many professed conversions fall away.

And then…he writes…in teaching on the Christian life, our habit is to depict it as a path of thrilling feelings rather than of working faith and of supernatural interruptions, rather than of rational righteousness. And in dealing with the Christian experience, we dwell constantly on joy, peace, happiness, satisfaction and rest with no balancing reference to the divine discontent of Romans 7. The fight of faith in Psalm 73, or any of the burdens of responsibility and providential chastenings that fall to the lot of the child of God. The spontaneous jollity of the carefree extrovert comes to be equated with healthy Christian living and jolly extroverts in our churches are encouraged to become complacent in carnality while saintly souls of less sanguine temperament are driven almost crazy because they cannot bubble over in the prescribed manner,”

Now whenever I have the opportunity to preach on the doctrine of the Word of God, there is a great danger that this could go on for a long time and that you may feel like you’re drinking out of a fire hose at full volume because this is my passion, as you know, the Word of God. I love the truth, I live for the truth, I proclaim the truth, nothing is as important as the truth of God revealed in Scripture. And so, as we began last Sunday night talking about this issue of Scripture, we shall continue for many Sunday nights to come, not sure exactly how many to talk about the great doctrine of Scripture.
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by J.I. Packer

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” JOHN 3:3

Regeneration is a New Testament concept that grew, it seems, out of a parabolic picture-phrase that Jesus used to show Nicodemus the inwardness and depth of the change that even religious Jews must undergo if they were ever to see and enter the kingdom of God, and so have eternal life (John 3:3-15). Jesus pictured the change as being “born again.”

The concept is of God renovating the heart, the core of a person’s being, by implanting a new principle of desire, purpose, and action, a dispositional dynamic that finds expression in positive response to the gospel and its Christ. Jesus’ phrase “born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5) harks back to Ezekiel 36:25-27, where God is pictured as symbolically cleansing persons from sin’s pollution (by water) and bestowing a “new heart” by putting his Spirit within them. Because this is so explicit, Jesus chides Nicodemus, “Israel’s teacher,” for not understanding how new birth happens (John 3:9-10). Jesus’ point throughout is that there is no exercise of faith in himself as the supernatural Savior, no repentance, and no true discipleship apart from this new birth.
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The following is an edited transcript of the audio.

If at the end of your life you could say one thing to the next generation of church leaders, what might it be?

This is risky, because I know how it could be misused by people who don’t like me anyway. But I think I’m going to say to them on my death bed, “Make the Bible the supreme intellectual and emotional authority in your life, for the sake of magnifying Christ in the fullness of his person and his work, so that generation after generation preserves the foundation and the capstone of the glory of God in Christ, and the grace that is the apex of that glory.”

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Scripture Verses: Committing to Memory

April 20, 2009

One of the things I have struggled with is the memorization of scripture. There are parts I have down that I can recall and even ‘sections’ I know to point to when speaking about a specific topic, but overall I am lacking in my ability to call scripture exactly when needed. If you’d like to […]

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