Saturday, December 31, 2011

Readings around Blogdom, Dec 2011

I haven't been posting as frequently of late. I am often online researching and reading, and have decided to start a regular posting of links to things I've read, called "Readings around Blogdom" (in some cases they may not be from blogs). Please consider the following. The posting of links do not constitute an endorsement of the blogs linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the posts linked. Here's the first installment.

Baptist Identity or Evangelical Anonymity? Part II:
Personal Implications of the Incarnation
Implications of the Incarnation (Part 2)
The Book of Books: What Literature Owes the Bible
The Gospel and Baptist Identity Series
Top 10 Theology Stories of 2011
What Bothers Me About Worship Leaders

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thou shalt call His name Jesus

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

The God name, Matthew 1:25
The saving name, Acts 2:21, 4:12; I John 1:12
The giving name, John 14:14, 15:16
The exalted name, Philippians 2:
The excellent name, Hebrews 1:4
The healing name, Acts 3:6, 4:10
The baptism name, Acts 19:5
The only name, Acts 4:12

Take the name of Jesus with you
There is a name I love to hear, I love to sing its worth
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer's ear
All hail the power of Jesus name, let angels prostate fall
Blessed be the name of the Lord

Jesus! dear Name, how sweet it sounds!
Replete with balm for all our wounds:
His Word declares His grace is free,
Come, needy sinner, "Come and see."

He left the shining courts on high,
Came to our world to bleed and die;
Jesus the Lord hung on a tree,
Come, thoughtless sinner, "Come and see."

Your sins did pierce His bleeding heart,
Till death had done its dreadful part;
His boundless love extends to thee,
Come, trembling sinner, "Come and see."

His blood can cleanse the foulest stain,
Can make the vilest sinner clean;
This fountain open stands for thee,
Come, guilty sinner, "Come and see."

Isaac Watts, (1674-1748).

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Interesting Christmas quote

THIS is the season of the year when, whether we wish it or not, we are compelled to think of the birth of Christ. I hold it to be one of the greatest absurdities under heaven to think that there is any religion in keeping Christmas-day. There are no probabilities whatever that our Saviour Jesus Christ was born on that day, and the observance of it is purely of Popish origin; doubtless those who are Catholics have a right to hallow it, but I do not see how consistent Protestants can account it in the least sacred. However, I wish there were ten or a dozen Christmas-days in the year; for there is work enough in the world, and a little more rest would not hurt labouring people. Christmas-day is really a boon to us; particularly as it enables us to assemble round the family hearth and meet our friends once more. Still, although we do not fall exactly in the track of other people, I see no harm in thinking of the incarnation and birth of the Lord Jesus. We do not wish to be classed with those

"Who with more care keep holiday
The wrong, than others the right way."

The old Puritans made a parade of work on Christmas-day, just to show that they protested against the observance of it. But we believe they entered that protest so completely, that we are willing, as their descendants, to take the good accidentally conferred by the day, and leave its superstitions to the superstitious.

From "The Incarnation and Birth of Christ" by Charles H. Spurgeon, Dec. 23, 1855

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christ of 40 days

There are many interesting 40 day experiences in the Bible. Moses was on the mount with God for forty days. The spies searched the land of Canaan forty days. Goliath challenged Israel for forty days. Elijah at angels' food that provided him with strength for forty days. Jonah's prophecy of judgement gave Nineveh forty days.

There are two forty day experiences in the life of our Lord.

Mark 1:13 And he (Jesus) was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

The first forty day experience is seen at the beginning of Jesus's ministry, following His baptism. It was a period of temptation and testing that ended in triumph over Satan.

Acts 1:3 To whom also he (Jesus) shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

The second forty day experience is seen at the end of Jesus's earthly ministry -- it followed the greatest triumph of all. Jesus died on the cross for sins, finishing redemption and dismissing His spirit. He lay in the grave three days and three nights, then rose triumphant over death and the grave. After His resurrection Jesus was seen for
forty days before ascending back into heaven. It was a period of confirmation of His triumph, giving notice that He was alive. It was a period that provided historical witnesses to this historical truth, as well as comfort to the disciples and upbuilding of their faith.

The forty days are sorts of bookends at the beginning and end of Jesus's earthly ministry. ¡Like some languages other than English, they provide exclamation marks of triumph on the mighty work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Clarke and Holmes on the decree of God

“The decree of God is that whereby God hath from eternity set down with himself whatsoever shall come to pass in time. Eph. i. 2. All things with their causes, effects, circumstances and manner of being, are determined by God. Acts ii. 23, Acts iv. 28. This decree is most wise; Rom. xi. 33; most just; Rom. ix. 13-14; eternal; Eph. i. 4-5, II Thess. ii. 13; necessary; Psa. xxxiii. 2, Prov. xix. 21; unchangeable; Heb. xi. 17; most free; Rom. ix. 13; and the cause of all good; Jam. i. 17; but not of any sin; I John i. 5. The special decree of God concerning angels and men is called predestination. Rom. viii. 30.” -- Introductory to articles of faith evidently written by John Clarke and Obadiah Holmes for the baptized church of Christ in Newport, Rhode Island. I’m not sure when this was written, but sometime before Clarke’s death in 1676. Typed as recorded in John Clarke (1609-1676) Pioneer in American Medicine, Democratic Ideals, and Champion of Religious Liberty, by Louis Franklin Asher, p. 117; This is a clear expression of what the English and American Particular Baptist believed regarding predestination.