What the Bible Contains for the Believer

(About this series)

CHAPTER X—WHAT THE BIBLE CONTAINS FOR THE BELIEVER

BY REV. GEORGE F. PENTECOST, D. D., DARIEN, CONNECTICUT

1. The Bible is the Only Book That Can Make Us Wise unto Salvation.

The Bible is not a book to be studied as we study geology and astronomy, merely to find out about the earth’s formation and the structure of the universe; but it is a book revealing truth, designed to bring us into living union with God. We may study the physical sciences and get a fair knowledge of the facts and phenomena of the material universe; but what difference does it make to us, as spiritual beings, whether the Copernican theory of the universe is true, or that of Ptolemy? On the other hand, the eternal things of God’s Word do so concern us. Scientific knowledge, and the words in which that knowledge is conveyed, have no power to change our characters, to make us better, or give us a living hope of a blessed immortality; but the Word of God has in it a vital power, it is “quick and powerful”—living and full of Divine energy (Heb. 4:12)—and when received with meekness into our understanding and heart is able to save our souls (Jas. 1:18, 21), for it is the instrument of the Holy Spirit wherewith He accomplishes in us regeneration of character. The Word of God is a living seed containing within itself God’s own life, which, when it is received into our hearts, springs up within us and “brings forth fruit after its kind;” for Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God, is the living germ hidden in His written Word. Therefore it is written, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life” (John Read more about What the Bible Contains for the Believer

Theology Thursday - Reformed Baptists on the Christian & the Law

On “Theology Thursday,” we feature short excerpts on various areas of systematic theology, from a wide variety of colorful (and drab) characters and institutions.

From Samuel Waldron and Richard Barcellos, A Reformed Baptist Manifesto: The New Covenant Constitution of the Church (Palmdale, CA: RBAP 2004).

The word antinomian simply means against law. There are various types of Antinomians, but in some way or another, all Antinomians deny that the Ten Commandments as a unit are a rule of life for the Christian. Historically, Antinomians have been labeled differently, depending on the type of antinomianism to which they adhere.

Practical Antinomians not only teach against the law in the Christian life, they often advocate lawless living. Doctrinal or Moderate Antinomians, however, do not advocate lawless living, but they deny the third use of the law (i.e. the Ten Commandments as a rule for Christian living) or, at best, advocate it but redefine what law means … The Ten Commandments function as the epitome of the Moral Law in the Bible, as we will see. Many in our day deny this crucial fact. Many Christians in our day are, therefore, Antinomian in some sense.1

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Making a Covenant with Abraham (Part 6)

Read the series so far.

Abraham’s Temptation to Spiritualize?

With Abraham on Mt. Moriah

When we come to Genesis 22 we arrive at one of the key events in the Bible; the offering of Isaac, the son of promise to the Promiser. The retelling of this story by Kierkegaard in his book Fear and Trembling poses the question of how Abraham could possibly have justified his actions to himself or to his son. The philosopher’s conclusion is that he could not. Neither in the three days’ journey and especially in the final moments before the intervention of God could he have been absolutely sure that it was God who commanded him. For what was commanded seemed to fly in the face of what God had so deliberately promised. But, as Kierkegaard so poignantly puts it, “Abraham is not what he is without this dread.”1 Read more about Making a Covenant with Abraham (Part 6)

Mere Christianity: An Examination of the Concept in Richard Baxter & C. S. Lewis (Part 5)

From Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal (DBSJ), with permission. This section continues to examine Baxer’s concept of mere Christianity. Read the series so far.

Baxter Vs. Lewis

In seeking to find the relation between MC and Christian apologetics, we have noted two great historical figures. Both men were successful in their respective ages in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, their understandings of MC were not the same. Though they share commonalities, there are some differences as well. In this section of the paper, we will flesh out the commonalities as well as the distinctions to determine if anything can be gleaned for effective Christian apologetics today.

Points of Commonality

Historical Setting

Tumultuous historical circumstances thread together the lives of these two men. Lewis was fighting against the tide of naturalism, materialism, and liberalism that was sweeping through his country after two great World Wars. Baxter was fighting the onslaught of political factions, which were taking clerical garb. Each man’s unique situations brought the same problem: a weakening of religious conviction that threatened the integrity of Christ’s body.1 Both Lewis and Baxter found a way to present the gospel to the world in the midst of these difficult times, and for this God can be thanked. Read more about Mere Christianity: An Examination of the Concept in Richard Baxter & C. S. Lewis (Part 5)

Ordering Finances Wisely Part 9: Planning to Give, Save, & Spend

Originally posted in 2013. Read the series so far.

On “Paying Yourself First”

Perhaps the reader has heard the oft-repeated maxim, “Pay yourself first.” “Pay yourself first” simply means to save first—sometimes at a recommended rate of 10%—and use the remainder for spending. Forbes calls “pay yourself first” “the most important rule for a comfortable retirement.” Investopedia notes that “some financial professionals even go so far as to call ‘pay yourself first’ the golden rule of personal finance.”

The Word of God disabuses this maxim. Indeed we are to give to the Lord first as taught in verses such as: Read more about Ordering Finances Wisely Part 9: Planning to Give, Save, & Spend

Always for All Things

By Rev. C. H. Spurgeon

Sermon No. 1094, delivered on Lord’s-Day morning, February 2, 1873, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20.

THE position of our text in the Epistle is worthy of observation. It follows the precept with regard to sacred song in which Believers are bid to speak to themselves and one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord. If they cannot be always singing they are always to maintain the spirit of song. If they must, of necessity, desist at intervals from outward expressions of praise, they ought never to refrain from inwardly giving thanks. The Apostle, having touched upon the act of singing in public worship, here points out the essential part of it which lies not in classic music and thrilling harmonies, but in the melody of the heart. Thanksgiving is the soul of all acceptable singing. Read more about Always for All Things

A. J. Gordon’s Opinion of Spurgeon & His Ministry

(Image: Archive.org)

Reprinted with permission from As I See It, which is available free by writing to the editor at dkutilek@juno.com.

A. J. Gordon (1836-1895) was one of the pre-eminent Baptist pastors in America in his day, zealous for evangelism and missions, and a prolific author of pre-millennial sentiments. His analysis of his great English contemporary, Charles H. Spurgeon, is noteworthy.

“To have the ear of the people is a great thing, and much to be coveted by the minister of the gospel, if only it be certain that God has the minister’s ear. If it be not so, and the preacher has thousands hanging on his lips, who himself does not hang on God’s lips with the daily cry, ‘Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth,’ it may be a calamity. In other words, popularity without piety—the magnetism which draws the people, without the communion which draws daily supplies of truth and inspiration from God—is not to be envied. Read more about A. J. Gordon’s Opinion of Spurgeon & His Ministry

The Importance of Free Will and Purposeful Work for Children

I enjoy reading quotes about a variety of topics. Good quotes are condensed truth delivered in a fashion that is as amusing as it is thought-provoking. But sometimes I read a quote, which at first sounds so wise, witty, or practical, and then after a few seconds I’m like, “What?!”

I recently read a quote credited to Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, a successful businessman, investor and philanthropist, and founder of the Virgin Group, which, by the way, controls more than 400 companies. I’m all for listening to what hard-working, successful people have to say.

You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.

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