Time Wasters to be Avoided

Richard Baxter gives some sound advise to follow of thieves that should be avoided:

Thief I: One of the greatest time-wasting sins consists of idleness or sloth. One only needs to read the book of Proverbs to see this point expounded. Remember that you run for the immortal crown; and therefore see that you lose no time, and look not at the things that are behind;

Thief II: The next thief or time-waster is excess of sleep.

Thief III: The next thief or time-waster is an inordinate adorning of the body. This would include clothing, jewelry, and the like.

Thief IV: Another time-wasting thief is unnecessary pomp and curiosity in retinue, attendance, house furniture, provision and entertainments, together with excess of compliment and ceremony, and servitude to the humors and expectations of time-wasters.

Thief V: Another time-wasting sin is needless and tedious feastings, gluttony, and tippling. O remember, while you are eating and drinking, what a corruptible piece of flesh you are feeding and serving; and how quickly those mouths will be filled with dust! and a soul that is posting so fast to eternity, should find no time to spare for vanity; and that you have important work enough to do, which is performed, will afford you a sweeter and a longer feast.

Thief VI:Another time-waster is idle talk.

Thief VII: Another thief which by the aforesaid means would steal your time, is vain and sinful company. Remember, assimilation begets association.

Thief VIII: Another notorious time-wasting thief, is needless, inordinate sports and games, which are stigmatized by the offenders themselves, with the infamous name of pastimes, and masked with deceitful title of recreations; And to think that they sold that precious time for a little fleshly sport, in which they should have been working out their salvation , and making their calling and election sure.

Thief IX:Another time-wasting thief is excess of worldly cares and business. Not much needs to be said of this as there a plethora of examples within our society.

Thief X: Another time-waster is vain ungoverned and sinful thoughts.

Thief XI: Another dangerous time-waster sin is the reading of vain books , play-books, romances, and feigned histories; and also unprofitable studies, undertaken but for vain-glory, or the pleasing of a carnal or curious mind.

Thief XII: But the master-thief that robs men of their time is an unsancitified , ungodly heart; for this loseth time whatever men are doing;because they never intend the glory of God;

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

I’m currently in the process of reading Richard Baxter’s, A Christian Directory and I came across 10 things that he outlines in the book that I thought I would share:

(1) That the Holy Ghost, as given since the ascension of Christ, is his agent on earth, or his advocate with men;

(2) This Holy Spirit, so sent, infallibly inspired the holy apostles and evangelists, first to preach, and then to write the doctrine of Christ, contained in the Holy Scriptures.

(3) This same Spirit in them, sealed this holy doctrine, and the testimony of these holy men, by many miracles and wonderful gifts, by the which they did actually convince the unbelieving world, and plant the churches.

(4) The same Spirit(having first by the apostles, given a law or canon to the universal church, constituting its offices and the duty of the officers and the manner of their entrance) doth qualify and dispose men for the stated, ordinary ministerial work, (which is to explain and apply the foresaid Scriptures,) and directeth those that are to ordain and choose them (they being not wanting on their part); and so he apppointeth pastors to the church. (Ephesians 3: 2-4) (Ephesians 3:8,13).

(5) The same Spirit assisteth the ministers to teach and apply the holy Scriptures according to the necessities of the people, the weight of the matter, and the majesty of the word of God.

(6) The same Spirit doth by this word(heard or read) renew and sanctify the souls of the elect; illuminating their minds, opening and quickening their hearts, prevailing with, changing, and resolving their wills, thus writing God’s word, and imprinting his image by his word upon their hearts, making it powerful to conquer and cast out their stronge st, sweetest, dearest sins, and bringing them to the saving knowledge, love, and obedience of God in Jesus Christ. See Acts xxvi.

(7) The same Holy Spirit assisteth the sanctified in the exercise of this grace, to the increase of it, by blessing and concurring with the means appointed appointed by him to that end: and helpeth them to use those means , perform those duties , conquer temptations, oppositionss and difficulties, and so confirmeth and preserveth them to the end.

(8) The same Spirit helpeth believers, in the exercise of grace, to feel it, and discern the sincerity of it in themselves, in that measure as they are meet for, and in those seasons when it is fittest for them.

(9) The same Spirit helpeth them hereupon to conclude that they are justified and reconciled to God, and have right to all the benefits of his covenant.

(10) Also, he assisteth them actually to rejoice in the discerning of this conclusion. For though reason of itself may do something of itself in these acts, yet so averse is man to all that is holy, and so many are the difficulties and hinderences in the way that to the effectual performance, the help of the Spirit of God is necessary.

Christians: Check your Inputs

I’m kind of into the Puritans. I have been studying a lot on them recently and has indeed been a blessing. One thing I have noticed with them that I think can be applied to the 21st century Christian is a technical term I’m going to use that references a method for preventing bad things from happening with software. In computer programming there’s concept known as a “Buffer Overflow”. What this basically means is that if a computer program was expecting to get 1 quart of water and someone supplied 2 or more quarts the computer memory essentially gets overwritten and bad stuff can happen. Trust me.

So how does this relate to Christianity? Well think of Christianity as a computer program. Don’t call me a heretic, but it is a system that we are convicted of as being true. Nevertheless, you as a Christian(if you are one) are fed with various inputs such as: Material wealth, power, lust, greed, gluttony, and wrath. Isn’t it funny how all of these are promoted if you turn on your T.V.? I’m going to narrow my scope to these items to keep this post short. Well what happens when you receive those inputs? Bad stuff. The Puritans spoke about something called the “Ordered Life”. They basically planned ahead of time what they were going to do throughout a given day or week. Part of this included excluding elements that were contrary to the fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

So bottom line, check your inputs Christians and if they’re not compliant with the Word of God, remove that object as a future input. Better to go to heaven lame, then for your whole body to be delivered to hell.

The Healthy Christian

“The healthy Christian knows his frailty and suspects and distrusts himself, lest sin and Satan should be ensnaring him unawares; therefore he regularly grills himself before God, scrutinizing his deeds and motives and ruthlessly condemning himself when he finds within himself moral deficiency and dishonesty… The healthy Christian is not necessarily the extrovert, ebullient Christian, but the Christian who has a sense of God’s presence stamped deep on his soul, who trembles at God’s Word, who lets it dwell richly in him by constant meditation upon it, and who tests and reforms his life daily in response to it…

Does not this emphasis on constant self-suspicion and self-examination actually weaken faith, by diverting our gaze from Christ in his fullness to ourselves in our emptiness, so leading us to spiritual despondency and depression? No doubt it would if it were made an end in itself; but, of course, it never was. The Puritans ripped up consciences in the pulpit [particularly applying the law and exposing the pride of the human heart] and urged self-trial in the closet only in order to drive sinners to Christ and to teach them to live by faith in him.”

J. I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness – the Puritan View of the Christian Life, pp. 116 & 117

Thoughts on Christian Election

(1) Ephesians 1:4 “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love

(2) Ephesians 1:8 “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,”

I’m currently engaged in bible study on the book of Romans. The subject of election came up and the question arose that if God predestines those who will come to saving knowledge of Christ, why is there a need to evangelize? I mean if Christians do believe that God is sovereign over all then there really should not be a need for us to preach the gospel, is there?

This view is known as Hyper-Calvinism and the view in my opinion is unbiblical and I will work to expound why I think this is so.

I. As our two introductory verses show, God does predestine and elect his saints to salvation to a saving knowledge of his Son. This by implication means that he chooses some and passes over others. The Apostle Paul shows the folly of this view in Romans 10:14:

“How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?”

The fact of the matter is that even the elect in the visible church do not know who the elect are or will be. Sure there may be some strong evidences in the fruit that believers do and should produce, but only the Holy, Immutable will of God knows who in the end who will be elected.

II. God uses the means of human beings preaching the Gospel to other human beings to bring the elect into the sheepfold. I strongly this is why Paul warns about tolerating any other gospel than the one preached as he warned the Galatians who were already backsliding:

Galatians 1:8: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!”

So in this verse we see a grave warning even to the situation with the gospel in America in the 21st century; To pervert the gospel of Christ in anyway is to join ranks with the devil to undermine and scatter the sowing of Christ into the hearts of men, woman, and children. To do this to bring the wrath of God down upon the souls engaged in a most abhorrent procedure.

Let the christian reader beware and guard the gospel of Christ with great care.

Holy Violence in the Christian Life

I just finished reading Thomas Watsons’ “Taking Heaven by Storm” and I must say it was a great book. I felt as though Watson pierced my heart with his words. What I wanted to do is to share some notes I took from the book with commentary where I felt inspired.

“Truth is the best flower in the churches crown” This quote made me stop and reflect on what this really means. In our culture all truth is considered relative with no absolute truth that can be expounded. The truth is not some novel concept, but it is a person and that person is Jesus Christ!

Holy Violence
Holy violence implies 3 things:
(1) Resolution of the will – Encounter the way to heaven as a resolute commander who charges through the whole body of the army. Where there is this resolution, danger must be despised, difficulties trampled down, and terrors condemned.

(2) Vigor of affections – The affections are on fire in passionate longings for heaven.

(3) Strength of endeavor – This violence implies strength of endeavor. We must put all of our strength and call in the help of heaven to this work.

Reading and Hearing of the Word
We must provoke ourselves to the reading of the Word. Below are nine maxims for accomplishing this task:

(1) Read the Word as a book made by God Himself.

(2) Read the Word as a perfect rule of faith.

(3) When you read the Word look on it as a soul enriching treasury.

(4) Read the Word as a book of evidences.

(5) Look upon the Word as a spiritual magazine, out of which you fetch all your weapons to fight against sin and Satan.

(6) Look upon the Word as a spiritual glass to dress yourselves by.

(7) Look upon the Word as a book of spiritual remedies.

(8) Read the Word as the last will and testament of Jesus Christ.

(9) Read the Word as a book by which you must be judged.


(1) Meditate seriously upon the corruption of your own nature.

(2) Meditate seriously upon the death and passion of Christ.

(3) Meditate on your evidences for heaven.

(4) Meditate upon the uncertainty of all sublunary comforts.

(5) Meditate on God’s severity against sin.

(6) Meditate on eternal life.

Knowledge of God According to Rome

Section I, Part III, Number 36 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states regarding the knowledge of God:

Our holy mother, the Church, holds and teaches that God, the first principle and last end of all things, can be known with certainty from the created world by the natural light of human reason.” Without this capacity, man would not be able to welcome God’s revelation. Man has this capacity because he is created “in the image of God”.

The first thing that you should note is the authority by which the statement is made. Not by the Holy Word of God, but by the church. Second that God can be known strictly by the created order in the universe. Third, they state that if this were not so, conversion would not be possible, since man is created in the image of God.

I agree that every human being is created in the image of God, but that due to the fall of Adam, man is dead in his transgressions. As the Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 2:5:

Eph 2:5 “even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–”

So we see from God’s Holy Word that even though the light of nature reveals the glory of God, the natural man cannot and will not respond since he’s dead in his sins. The only way for a dead man to respond is to be resurrected by the Spirit of God unto salvation.

The Ten Marks of a Flesh Pleaser

I stumbled across this today and thought it was simple and cut-throat as is typical and great about the Puritans.

Christian Challenge: Make it your goal for the next month to take an inventory based on the 10 items below to see where you fall on the spectrum. I think this would be good to do at least on a monthly basis to ensure your not slipping.
Continue reading