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Living In Grace

A Christ inspired work dealing with American Christian Culture in the New Century.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Have we Lost??

I was confronted with something tonight. Something that was shocking, although it probably shouldn’t  have been considering all I have seen of and heard about the American church in recent years.  Maybe what I encountered was common in Third World Countries, the dark jungles of  Africa,  or behind the old Soviet Iron Curtain, but not here, not in my community.  There was no way this was happening,  not tonight, not so close to home…..
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

3-Fold Cord: GUILT: Its what's for dinner!!

3-Fold Cord: GUILT: Its what's for dinner!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

An Eye Catching Video

Check out this video and make a determination for yourself.  If human life is  created in the Image of God as the Bible states at what point does that image appear?????

The Case Against Abortion: Prenatal Development

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Stapleton Shenanigans: In the temple with Jesus!

Stapleton Shenanigans: In the temple with Jesus!: "Our story today was about Jesus as a little boy and his time spent in the temple. I decided it would be a brilliant idea if we tried to ..."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Biblical WorldView?

But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Matthew 16:8

As another week approaches there is a controversy swirling around the home school movement that may have gone unnoticed by many  of you.   It is not solely about Young Earth Creationism ( YEC ), although that is a part, or Old Earth Creationism ( OEC ), but about the inerrancy of Scripture and how we deal with such disputes in the church and the ministries surrounding it.  What sparked this debate was The Great Home Schooling Conventions board deciding to rescind ( fire ) Dr. Ken Ham’s and Answers In Genesis’  ( AIG ) invitation to  speak at their conferences due to Dr. Ham’s comments regarding Dr. Peter Enns.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Compassion of the Lord

For the LORD will vindicate His people, And will have compassion on His servants,When He sees that their strength is gone,And there is none remaining, bond or free.
Deuteronomy 32:36

One of the great questions often brought up during times of adversity is whether God really cares, is He truly compassionate?  Is He the compassionate, loving, and kind God presented by Modern Christianity or is He a stern, authoritarian, and unapproachable deity reigning from on High?  God does care, He is Love, and His compassion will never fail.

God’s compassion and Love are not like or own in that His love is perfect and complete needing nothing to add to it.  Within Himself, that is the Godhead, He has both the capacity to love and be loved.  This is
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Friday, March 25, 2011

INTOLERABLE!!! The Cost of Tolerance at all Costs

You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything....

Those words are a line from a Country-Western song I heard many years ago and although I cannot remember the singer or the remainder of the lyrics they stuck with me.  Some things are simply worth standing for regardless of the consequences and Truth is one of them.  Truth can be found anywhere as all Truth ultimately emanates from and belongs to God alone, but with this new mindset of tolerance and peace at all costs are we looking for it in all the wrong places?  Have we begun to cast the net of historical orthodoxy in an ever-widening arc with the end goal of not being offensive?  There is a time and place for righteous indignation, to take a stand for something, when the doctrines of our faith are being compromised for the sake of unity.  Unity is an admirable and honorable goal to be sought for but not at the expense of sound doctrine.  Are we in the Evangelical Church abandoning the faith once and for all handed down to us so we may become more palatable to those in the world?  We must remember that friendship with the world is enmity with God and that we are called to be salt and light, both to preserve and to expose.

I would rather be the faithful and persecuted church filled with the power of God as compared to a compromising and lukewarm one that is in danger of being spewed out.

Which church do you want to be?

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Walk of the Living Dead

        And as it is appointed unto men once to die, 
but after this the judgment:
Hebrews 9:27

This is our lot in life as sons of Adam, Birth and Death.  The span of years offers both good and evil, the sublime and horrific as all things pertaining to life are found between those two little words.  A Mother’s kiss, a Father’s stern rebuke, hurts by friends or the simple joy of a warm spring day with the clouds drifting lazily by in a deep sea of blue.  The loss of loved ones and the birth of new ones are woven into this tapestry that we call life.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

The End of Pride: Soli Deo Gloria

What is the Chief End of Man?
To Glorify God and enjoy Him Forever

The end of Creation, therefore is not merely the glory of God, but the special manifestation of that Glory in the person and work of Christ-Charles Hodge

Soli Deo Gloria is a simple phrase fraught with eternal implications: Who is to be glorified?  Who is worthy?  How can sinners glorify a holy God?  Can I glory in my justification before this Holy God?  Everything that is done, whether directly or indirectly falls under the Providence of God and is done for His glory.  The hard things, the sad things, the never to be understood on this side of eternity kind of things will all be used by the Creator of Heaven and Earth for His glory alone.  The sinfulness of man, while not caused nor created by God, nor  by any coercion of or harm to his will ( remember the betrayal of Jesus by Judas ) will cause our God to be honored in His majesty.  The demonstration of His mercy and grace to wicked sinners will cause the Heavens to ring with praises for ages to come and will culminate in our ultimate glorification as He has promised.

There are different ways that God will be glorified in this world and in our lives namely:
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Losing Hell??? A Critique of an Emergent View of the Afterlife

There has been an uproar recently coming over the Internet from the Emergent Community and their opposition fueled by Rob Bell's new book, Love Wins, and the charge of universalism.  An entry located on Emergent Village Web log details the journey of one author's departure from historic orthodox Christianity to a more universalist approach to the doctrine of Hell.  In , What I Lost Losing Hell, Chad Holtz says, "I was raised in the church....I believed in an eternal Hell    ( rightly so )..(but) this all changed about three years ago....the past few years I have given thought to what I lost by losing Hell..."  Mr. Holtz is apparently unaware that by abandoning an orthodox view of Hell he is also abandoning an integral tenet of Christianity found in Scripture.
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Scrubbing the Surface

As I was pondering the mysteries of life this week ( not!! ) I felt it would be prudent to interrupt my regularly scheduled post for something that has been weighing on me.  It really is a simple matter but with consequences for everyone involved.  I do not know how I have lived this long without dealing with this issue more thoroughly.  How clean is my house?  I mean really.  When was the last time the furniture was moved, the baseboards scrubbed, the ceiling fan spotless ( don't ask ), and all the beds made?

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Solus Christus-Saviour and Mediator

Solus Christus in a very easy way to define and comprehend that Christ Alone is the only Mediator and Saviour between God and man without negating His divinity. It is differentiated from Soli Deo Gloria because its main thrust is of Christ as mediator and not in contrasting Him with the other members of the Godhead.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sola Gratia-The Grace that Saves

Grace, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is the unmerited Divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification.

All other world religions are man’s efforts to reconcile himself to God(s),  others, work out their karma, or any other various prescripton that fallen man has invented to to assuage his guilt.  They all have this in common and to some varying degree employ our ability to appease these unseen forces.  The great difference in historic Christianity and all else is our belief that God alone is able to save: It is only by His grace that we can truly live again and have a right relationship with Him.  One of the most important distinctives of the Reformation was the concept of Salvation by Grace Alone:  Dr. R.C. Sproul states it so:
“ Monergistic regeneration means that regeneration is accomplished by a single actor, God…all forms of semi-pelagianism assert some sort of synergism in regeneration…usually God’s assisting grace is…dependent on human cooperation for its efficacy. “

Augustine, when debating the original Pelagian heresy, said:
“…he  ( Pelagius ) says grace is bestowed according to worthiness.  For when he speaks about people deserving reward because they make a good use of their free will, so that they merit the Lord’s grace, he asserts in fact that a debt is paid to them. “ The Grace of Christ and Original Sin 1:34

John Calvin, who relied heavily on Augustine, stated that:
“ the human will does not obtain grace by freedom, but freedom by grace. “  Institutes II.III

It should be known that all we add to our redemption is our sin and the inability to change.  We are sinful creatures not only prone to badness, but infected with the disease that touches every aspect of our lives: From our thoughts, motives, deeds, relationships, etc  we are wholly incapable of any meritorious work that would commend us to God  ( Rom 3:9-18 ).  Our righteousness is filthy and our sins drive us like a ship torn by the wind ( Isaiah 64:6 ) and we are very much dead and unable to will ourselves any differently (Ephesians 2:1 ).  Paul rightly said, “  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. “ ( Rom 7:18 ) when he described his condition with regards to the power of his will.

We are completely sinful, totally depraved, and unable by any device of our own to come to a Holy God. The disciples, in Matthew 19:24-26, when confronted with the difficulty of human ability or merit to enter Heaven exclaimed, “ who then can be saved? “  Jesus replied to them that with man it was impossible but that with God all things were possible.

This grace was a foundation of the Gospel that was preached by the Apostles and the early church.  These first Christians, mostly of Jewish descent, were well acquainted with trying to earn their salvation through the works of Law.  Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, knew that in the flesh he had nothing to boast of                  ( Philippians 3:3-7 ) and that all He had was counted as loss.   Paul could boast, not in himself, but because he was justified as a gracious gift from God and that through the redemption he now had in Jesus Christ he could stand. 

It is this free grace, at least to us, that saves as it is not  based on our works and any other message is a false gospel.  Grace and faith are inextricably tied together in Ephesians 2:8 as it is the grace of  God that even allows the gift of faith to manifest itself in our heart.  This grace was given us in Christ ( 1 Cor 1:4 ) and it is through His blood that we have redemption ( Ephesians 1:7 ).  If we were in any way able to earn our salvation or even add to it the Christ would have died in vain. 

It quite simply is foundational to Historic Christian belief that salvation is by grace alone.  That is the Gospel message: that God saves undeserving sinners by His grace through the riches found in Christ Jesus.  If you are trying to earn your salvation it is a futile effort as your works will never absolve you from your sin nor commend you to a holy God. Seek Him today while He may be found and may He grant you repentance unto salvation.

For further reading click below

Proverbs 3:34

Zechariah 12:10

John 1:17

Acts 20:24

Romans 6:14

Jonathan Edwards Treatise on Grace

Justification by Grace

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