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.

Meditations

(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.

NASA Laptops Infected with Virus

So our overly paranoid friend over at NASA had a virus infected on a couple of astronauts laptops. What makes this even scarier is that it has happened before and they still don’t have these systems loaded with any type of Anti-Virus software. Couple of questions for our engineers at NASA:

Why, why, and why don’t you have AV software installed on these systems? The reponse would most likely be, “Well, they are never connected to the Internet and the laptops in question are not running critical systems.”. Hmmm… I have to think if they are this lazy securing systems that astronauts use, how confident are we that they take security seriously on the more critical systems such as the computers that run the shuttles and the satellites? See the BBC link below for more details.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7583805.stm

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.