Archive | June 2019

The Gospel is for Children

Question: Are you a child of God or an adult?

Many Christians and some entire denominations think that the gospel is for adults. Maybe including teanagers, but certainly not for young children. Even the disciples of Jesus thought that way.

But Jesus said in Luke 18:15-17

15 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.
17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”​

“Jesus shows his disciples how “of such is the kingdom of God,” for no one shall enter that kingdom unless he enters it as a little child. This statement is astonishing in every way. We should think as, alas, so many did and do think that a babe must receive the kingdom as an adult receives it, but absolutely the reverse is true. The child is the model, not the man. It is the unassuming humility and the unquestioning trustfulness of the child that makes it a pattern for all adults. This humility and this trustfulness, when they are directed to Christ, become the very essence of saving faith.”

Lenski, R. C. H. (1961). The Interpretation of St. Luke’s Gospel (p. 910). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.​

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/luke-18-15-17-%E2%80%93-the-gospel-and-children.97653/

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God of the Broken-Hearted by J.R. Miller

“The God of the Bible, is the God of the broken-hearted. The world cares little for the broken hearts. Indeed, people oftentimes break hearts by their cruelty, their falseness, their injustice, their coldness–and then move on as heedlessly as if they had trodden only on a worm! But God cares. Broken-heartedness attracts Him. The plaint of grief on earth–draws Him down from heaven.

Physicians in their rounds, do not stop at the homes of the well–but of the sick. So it is with God in His movements through this world. It is not to the whole and the well–but to the wounded and stricken, that He comes with sweetest tenderness! Jesus said of His mission: “He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted.” Isaiah 61:1

We look upon trouble as misfortune. We say that the life is being destroyed, which is passing through adversity. But the truth which we find in the Bible, does not so represent suffering. God is a repairer and restorer of the hurt and ruined life. He takes the bruised reed–and by His gentle skill makes it whole again, until it grows into fairest beauty. The love, pity, and grace of God, minister sweet blessing of comfort and healing–to restore the broken and wounded hearts of His people.

Much of the most beautiful life in this world, comes out of sorrow. As “fair flowers bloom upon rough stalks,” so many of the fairest flowers of human life, grow upon the rough stalks of suffering. We see that those who in heaven wear the whitest robes, and sing the loudest songs of victory–are those who have come out of great tribulation. Heaven’s highest places are filling, not from earth’s homes of glad festivity and tearless joy–but from its chambers of pain; its valleys of struggle where the battle is hard; and its scenes of sorrow, where pale cheeks are wet with tears, and where hearts are broken. The God of the Bible–is the God of the bowed down–whom He lifts up into His strength.

God is the God of those who fail…… When we are conscious of our own insufficiency, then we are ready to receive of the divine sufficiency. Thus our very weakness is an element of strength. Our weakness is an empty cup–which God fills with His own strength.

You may think that your weakness unfits you for noble, strong, beautiful living–or for sweet, gentle, helpful serving. You wish you could get clear of it. It seems to burden you–an ugly spiritual deformity. But really it is something which–if you give it to Christ–He can transform into a blessing, a source of His power. The friend by your side, whom you envy because he seems so much stronger than you are–does not get so much of Christ’s strength as you do. You are weaker than him–but your weakness draws to you divine power, and makes you strong.”

“He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/god-of-the-broken-hearted-by-j-r-miller.97632/

10 Reasons Why the Bible Regards Women Higher than All Other Systems

By Eric Davis – Posted at The Cripplegate:

It’s no secret, nor is it unclear. The Bible teaches things about women that clash with our fallen contemporary culture. Women may not function in the role of a pastor/elder (1 Tim. 2:12). Wives are to submit to their husbands as the church does to Christ (Eph. 5:22-24). Seasoned women are to shepherd younger women to, among other things, be “workers at home…[and] subject to their own husbands” (Titus 2:5).

Consequently, culture often reviles God’s word on the grounds that the Bible holds women as inferior to men. And the irony is, that contemporary western culture values women lower than just about any time and people in history. Yet, that same culture accuses the Bible of a low, insulting view of women. But, nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, God’s inerrant word of the 66 books of the Bible regards women higher than any other ideology, religion, philosophy, or system in history. Nothing teaches a higher view of women than biblical Christianity. Here are ten reasons why:

1. Women are created in God’s image, making them infinitely valuable.

The value and equality of women is a frequently discussed topic in recent days. Various reasons are put forth for the value of women. For many in our day, a women’s value is grounded in her ability and opportunity to do everything a man does. For others, her value is in possessing equal, or greater, income as/than a man. Those reasons are, ironically, oppressive to women: if she doesn’t achieve some subjective cultural standard, then her worth is inferior. That’s a yoke they should not have to bear.

Source: https://www.christian-heritage-news.com/2019/03/10-reasons-why-bible-regards-women.html

Read more: https://thecripplegate.com/10-reasons-why-the-bible-regards-women-higher-than-all-other-systems/

The grand view of the good-will of Christ

Robert Traill (The Lord’s Prayer, John 17:24), Works 2:79:

What wise or honest man is at cost to purchase that for another that he will not let him possess? When our Lord laid down his life, yea, staked down his crown and glory, and bore so much distress, and all for this, that he might at last have all his people with him where he is; sure we must conclude, that Christ’s heart and mind was greatly set upon it. The grand view of the good-will of Christ to the saving his people and having them in heaven, is to be had on his cross. The death of the Saviour proclaims his good-will to save. He knew he must save us by dying, and we know that we are saved by his death. Therefore he had a desire and delight to die for his people. It pleased the Lord to bruise him, Isa. 53:10; and Christ was pleased to be bruised, Heb. 10:5-10.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/the-grand-view-of-the-good-will-of-christ.91317/

This is Grace’s Prerogative

Hugh Binning (Practical Sermons), Works, p. 626:

The kingdom of grace is worthy of all your affections and pains. That despised thing in the world called grace is the rarest piece of the creation, and if we could look on it aright, we would seek grace, and follow after it. Grace extracts a man out of the multitude of men that are all of one mass. Grace separates him from the rest of the world, and to this purpose are these usual phrases in scripture, “Such were some of you;” “Once ye were darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord;” “Among whom ye had your conversation in times past, fulfilling the desires of the flesh.” All men are alike by nature and birth, there is no difference. Grace brought to light by the gospel makes the difference, and separates the few chosen vessels of glory and mercy from the world, and now “they are not of the world, as I am not of the world.” All the rest of men’s aims and endeavours cannot do this. Learning makes not a man a Christian. Honour makes not a man differ from a Gentile or Pagan. Riches make you no better than infidels. Speak of what ye will, you shall never draw a man entirely out of the cursed race of Adam, never distinguish him from Gentiles before God, till the Spirit of regeneration blow where he listeth. And this is grace’s prerogative, beyond all other things.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/we-would-seek-grace-and-follow-after-it.90473/

As the Sun and its Radiance

An explanation of the relationship between the Father and the Son:

“Nor is it any objection to conceive of the Son being in the Father as in a Source: for the word source here only means the “whence.” But the Son is in the Father, and of the Father, not as made externally, nor in time, but being in the Essence of the Father and flashing forth from Him, as from the sun its radiance, or as from fire its innate heat. For in such examples, one may see one thing generated of another, but yet ever co-existing and inseparable, so that one cannot exist of itself apart from the other, and yet preserve the true condition of its own nature. For how can there be sun which has not radiance, or how radiance without sun being within to irradiate it? how fire, if it have not heat? whence heat, save from fire, or from some other thing not removed from the essential quality of fire? As then in these, the in-existence of the things that are of them does not take away their co-existence, but indicates the things generated ever keeping pace with their generators and possessed of one nature so to speak with them, so too is it with the Son. For even if He be conceived and said to be in the Father and of the Father, He will not come before us as alien and strange and a Being second to Him, but as in Him and co-existing ever, and shining forth from Him, according to the ineffable mode of the Divine generation.” – Cyril of Alexandria – “Commentary on John”

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/berkhof-god-the-father-generates-the-son.97541/

Learning from a Giant: Three Reasons to Read John Owen

“LEARNING FROM A GIANT: THREE REASONS TO READ JOHN OWEN

by Matthew Barrett & Michael A.G. Haykin

Why should we read, get to know, and learn from a Puritan like John Owen? As J. I. Packer has argued, we need to read the Puritans, and John Owen especially, because we are spiritual dwarfs by comparison.

Far too often in the recent past the focus of Christians has shifted away from the glory of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ and has instead made Christianity man-centered and success-oriented.

Consequently, Christian spirituality has become sentimental and self-indulgent. In short, we lack spiritual maturity. In contrast, John Owen was a spiritual giant. Many reasons could be listed as to why, but we will focus on just three.

Read more: https://puritanboard.com/threads/learning-from-a-giant-three-reasons-to-read-john-owen-credo-magazine.97579/