Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Good Thing

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the
LORD. - Proverbs 18:22

Today my best friend is celebrating her 40th birthday. In August we
will have been married 19 years. She is a faithful wife, a loving
mother to our seven children, and my very best friend.

Of all the decisions I've ever made in my life, marrying Sheri has to
be the best one.

I love you sweetheart. Thank you for being such a blessing in my life.


Sent from my mobile device

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I've found oftentimes that when God is teaching me something it tends to come at me from many different angles in my life. Within the past few weeks I've been encouraged to preach the Gospel not only to unbelievers, but also to believers. This encouragement has come from two good friends, one or two "bigger name" pastors (Mark Chandler being one of them), books that I've been reading from men of old (like Richard Baxter and Charles Spurgeon), and also from a pastor whom I sat under for about 6 months before we moved away from Nashville, Pastor Stephen Gambill at Reformed Baptist of Nashville. Mind you that I did not ask Stephen about this, but rather noticed that he "just so happened" to be preaching on the same topic. I follow his blog and listen to many of his sermons.

Here is Pastor Stephen's latest message on this very subject given in the Sunday School portion of their service on June 14 of this year. For those friends of mine who may be reading this blog, please listen to this message. He nails down just what I'm talking about. Preaching the Gospel is much more than simply winning souls into the Kingdom through the message of the cross. Though it includes that, it is much deeper than that as well.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Old Truth of the Gospel

"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again."—C. H. Spurgeon

Friday, June 19, 2009

Care of Christ's Spouse

From Richard Baxter's The Reformed Pastor:

You that draw back from painful, displeasing, suffering duties, and put off men's souls with ineffectual formalities, do you think this is honourable treatment of Christ's spouse? Are the souls of men thought meet by God to see his face, and live for ever in heaven, and are they not worthy of your utmost cost and labour on earth? Do you think so basely of the Church of God, as if it deserved not the best of your care and help? Were you the keepers of sheep or swine, you would scarcely let them go, and say, They are not worth the looking after; especially if they were your own. And dare you say so of the souls of men, of the Church of God? Christ walketh among them: remember his presence, and see that you are diligent in your work. They are 'a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, to show forth the praises of him that hath called them.' And yet will you neglect them? What a high honour is it to be but one of them, yea, but a door-keeper in the house of God! But to be the priest of these priests, and the rule of these kings -- this is such an honour as multiplieth your obligations to diligence and fidelity in so noble an employment.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Gospel Sonnets
by Ralph Erskine
Chapter 4

A Caution to all against a legal spirit; especially to those that have a profession without power, and learning without grace.

"WHY," says the haughty heart of legalists,
Bound to the law of works by nat'ral twists,
"Why such ado about a law-divorce?
Men's lives are bad, and would you have them worse?
Such Antinomian stuff, with laboured toil,
Would human beauty's native lustre spoil.
What wickedness beneath the cov'ring lurks,
That lewdly would divorce us all from works!
Why such a stir about the law and grace?
We know that merit cannot now take place;
And what needs more?" Well, to let slander drop,
Be merit for a little here the scope.
Ah! many learn to lisp in gospel-terms,
Who yet embrace the law with legal arms.
By wholesome education some are taught
To own that human merit now is naught;
Who faintly but renounce proud merit's name,
And cleave refinedly to the popish scheme.
For graceful works expecting divine bliss,
And, when they fail, trust Christ for what's amiss,
Thus to his righteousness profess to flee,
Yet by it still would their own saviours be.
They seem to works of merit bloody foes,
Yet seek salvation as it were(1) by those.
Blind Gentiles found, who did not seek nor know:
But Israel lost it whole, who sought it so.
Let all that love to wear the legal dress,
Know that as sin, so bastard righteousness
Has slain its thousands, who in tow'ring pride
The righteousness of Jesus Christ deride;
A robe divinely wrought, divinely won,
Yet cast by men for robes that are their own.
By some to legal works seem whole denied,
Yet would by gospel-works be justified,
By faith, repentance, love, and other such:
These dreamers being righteous over much
Like Uzzah, give the ark a wrongful touch.
By legal deeds, however gospelized,
Can e'er tremendous justice be appeased,
Or sinners justified before that God,
Whose law is perfect, and exceeding broad?
Nay, faith itself, that leading gospel-grace,
Holds as a work no justifying place.
Just Heaven to man for righteousness imputes
Not faith itself, or in its acts or fruits;
But Jesus' meritorious life and death,
Faith's proper object all the honour hath.
From this doth faith derive its glorious fame,
Its great renown and justifying name;
Receiving all things, but deserving nought;
By faith all's begg'd and taken, nothing bought.
Its highest name is from the wedding vote,
So instrumental in the marriage knot.
JEHOVAH leads the bride in that blest hour,
Th' exceeding greatness of his mighty power;(2)
Which sweetly does her heart-consent command,
To reach the wealthy Prince her naked hand.
For close to his embrace she'd never stir,
If first his loving arms embraced not her:
But this he does by kindly gradual chase,
Of rousing, raising, teaching, drawing grace,
He shows her, in his sweetest love address,
His glory as the Sun of righteousness;
At which all dying glories earth adorn,
Shrink like the sick moon at the wholesome morn.
This glorious Sun arising with a grace,
Dark shades of creature-righteousness to chase,
Faith now disclaims itself, and all the train
Of virtues formerly accounted gain;
And counts them dung,(3) with holy, meek disdain.
For now appears the height, the depth immense
Of divine bounty and benevolence;
Amazing mercy! ignorant of bounds!
Which most enlarged faculties confounds.
How vain, how void now seem the vulgar charms,
The monarch's pomp of courts, and pride of arms--
The boasted beauties of the human kind,
The powers of body and the gifts of mind!
Lo! in teh grandeur of Immanuel's train,
All's swallowed up as rivers in the main.
He's seen, when gospel light and sight is given
Encompassed round with all the pomp of heaven.
The soul, now taught of God, sees human schools
Make Christless rabbis only literate fools;
And that, till divine teaching powerful draw,
No learning will divorce them from the law.
Mere argument may clear the head, and force
A verbal, not a cordial, clean divorce.
Hence many, taught the wholesome terms of art,
Have gospel heads, but still a legal heart.
Till sovereign grace and power the sinner catch,
He takes not Jesus for his only match.
Nay, works compete! ah! true, however odd,
Dead works are rivals with the living God.
Till heaven's preventing mercy clear the sight,
Confound the pride with supernat'ral light:
No haughty soul of human kind is brought
To mortify her self-exalting thought.
Yet holiest creatures in clay-tents that lodge,
Be but their lives scanned by the dreadful Judge;
How shall they e'er his awful search endure,
Before whose purest eyes heaven is not pure?
How must their black indictment be enlarged,
When by him angels are with folly charged?
What human worth shall stand, when he shall scan?
O may his glory stain the pride of man.
How pond'rous are the tracks of divine grace!
How searchless are his ways, how vast th' abyss!
Let haughty reason stoop, and fear to leap;
Angelic plummets cannot sound the deep.
With scorn he turns his eyes from haughty kings,
With pleasure looks on low and worthless things;
Deep are his judgments, sovereign is his will,
Let every mortal worm be dumb, be still.
In vain proud reason swells beyond its bound;
God and his counsels are a gulf profound,
An ocean wherein all our thoughts are drowned.

(1) Rom. ix. 32.
(2) Eph. i. 19.
(3) Phil. iii. 7, 8.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

John Colquhoun on the Law and the Gospel

"The law and the gospel are the principal parts of divine revelation; or rather they are the center, sum, and substance of all the other parts of it. Every passage of sacred Scripture is either law or gospel, or is capable of being referred either to one or to the other... If then a man cannot distinguish aright between the law and the gospel, he cannot rightly understand so much as a single article of divine truth. If he does not have spiritual and just apprehensions of the holy law, he cannot have spiritual and transforming discoveries of the glorious gospel; and, on the other hand, if his view of the gospel is erroneous, his notions of the law cannot be right." - John Colquhoun (1748-1827)

John Colquhoun was a minister in the Church of Scotland whose sermons and writings reflect those of the Marrow brethren of the Secession church.

Law or Gospel?

The sum of the entire Bible can be wrapped up in two categories:
1) Law
2) Gospel

The Law tells us how we are to live. It gives us God's perfect standard. It is a bar set so high that no one can attain unto it. The Law is good. The Law is perfect. The Law condemns all those who can't keep it.

The Law is neatly packaged in the Ten Commandments.

1 - You shall have no other gods before Me.
2 - You shall not make for yourself a graven image.
3 - You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
4 - Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
5 - Honor your father and your mother.
6 - You shall not kill.
7 - You shall not committ adultery.
8 - You shall not steal.
9 - You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10 - You shall not covet.

How are you doing in keeping these ten "simple" commandments? I can tell you that I've broke all 10. And in case you're wondering about #6 and #7, Christ has this to say:

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
(Mat 5:21-22 KJV)


But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
(Mat 5:28 KJV)

So then, we find the Law throughout the scripture. We hear the Law week after week in many of our churches. Anytime you hear, "You need to..." or "You should..." or "God commands you to..." you are hearing Law.

I submit to you that every sermon is either Law, or it is Gospel, or possibly a mixture of both.

So, what is the Gospel all about?

The Gospel is all about Christ. Every sermon you hear; every spiritual thing you read; every fruit you bear must declare the Gospel, or else it is good for nothing. Why is this so vital?

Because the Gospel is simply this: Christ has fulfilled, in your place, that which you are required to do by the Law. As I mentioned earlier, I have broken all of the Ten Commandments. Yet, I stand counted as righteous in God's eyes. Why? Because Christ has paid my penalty.

You who would be teachers, what is your heart's desire to teach?

Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
(1Ti 1:5-7 KJV)

Or would you rather teach as did the Apostle Paul?

According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
(1Ti 1:11-12 KJV)

Jeff Pollard recently gave an excellent message on The Glorious Gospel. In it, he gives five reasons why the Gospel is glorious. To find out what they are, listen here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Richard Baxter on Teaching

I am currently reading through Richard Baxter's The Reformed Pastor. There has been discussion amongst my friends of late on whether there is need for additional teaching beyond the normal Lord's Day morning message. Certainly Baxter agrees that there is. He lists four categories of believers to whom a pastor must teach.

They are:
1) Those who are young and weak.
2) Those who labour under some particular corruption.
3) Those who are declining, or backsliding Christians.
4) Those Christians who are strong.

So, you see that whichever place you are in your Christian walk, you need to be built up with the teaching of the Word.

In today's post I'm going to give you his reasoning for that first group of Christians, Those who are young and weak. I'd love to give them all to you, and perhaps I will in a future post. But there's enough content to chew on and ponder here that should make Baxter's point very clear.

From The Reformed Pastor pages 97-98:
There are many of our flock that are young and weak, who, though they are of long standing, are yet of small proficiency or strength. This, indeed, is the most common condition of the godly. Most of them content themselves with low degrees of grace, and it is no easy matter to get them higher. To bring them to higher and stricter opinions is easy, that is, to bring them from the truth into error, on the right hand as well as on the left; but to increase their knowledge and gifts is not easy, and to increase their graces is the hardest of all. It is a very sad thing for Christians to be weak: it exposeth us to dangers; it abateth our consolations and delight in God, and taketh off the sweetness of wisdom's ways; it maketh us less serviceable to God and man, to bring less honour to our Master, and to do less good to all about us. We get small benefit in the use of the means of grace. We too easily play with the serpent's baits, and are ensnared by his wiles. A seducer will easily shake us, and evil may be made to appear to us as good, truth as falsehood, sin as duty; and so on the contrary. We are less able to resist and stand in an encounter; we sooner fall; we hardlier rise; and are apter to prove a scandal and reproach to our profession. We less know ourselves, and are more apt to be mistaken as to our own estate, not observing corruptions when they have got advantage of us. We are dishonourable to the gospel by our very weakness, and little useful to any about us. In a word, though we live to less profit to ourselves or others, yet are we unwilling and too unready to die.

Now, seeing the case of weakness in the converted is so sad, how diligent should we be to cherish and increase their grace! The strength of Christians is the honour of the Church. When they are inflamed with the love of God, and live by a lively working faith, and set light by the profits and honours of the world, and love one another with a pure heart fervently, and can bear and heartily forgive a worng, and suffer joyfully for the cause of Christ, and study to do good, and welk inoffensively and harmlessly in the world, are ready to be servants to all men for their good, becoming all things to all men in order to to win them to Christ, and yet abstaining from the appearance of evil, and seasoning all their actions with a sweet mixture of prudence, humility, zeal, and heavenly mindedness -- oh, what an honour are such to their profession! What an ornament to the Church; and how serviceable to God and man! Men would sooner believe that the gospel is from heaven, if they saw more such effects of it upon the hearts and lives of those who profess it. The world is better able to read the nature of religion in a man's life than in the Bible. 'They that obey not the word, may be won by the conversation' of such as are thus eminent for godliness. It is, therefore, a most important part of our work, to labour more in the polishing and perfecting of the saints, that they may be strong in the Lord, and fitted for their Master's service.

The Importance of Gospel for Believers

This is Stephen Gambill. He is a loved brother in Nashville, and the teaching pastor at Reformed Baptist Church of Nashville. We attended there for about 6 months before we moved. In this video clip, he hits the nail right on the head as to what I've been encouraging people with lately. Fellow Christian, you need the Gospel, week after week after week. Pastors, elders, teachers, preach the Gospel. That is Christ's mandate to His undershepherds. Feed His sheep. Give them the Gospel.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Preaching the Gospel to the De-churched

The men in our church have a weekly conference call on Wednesday mornings. One of the men asked the question, "Who are the modern day Richard Baxters or John Gills?"

I heard an awesome message today from quite possibly a modern day Richard Baxter. Matt Chandler, speaking at the Advance 09 Conference gave a powerful admonition to pastors to preach the Gospel and to regain their first love. His message is similar to a point I made recently. All preaching should ultimately bring in the message of Christ and Him Crucified.

Here's the link. Listen if you dare.

The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter

- Richard Baxter The Reformed Pastor p. 82 (emphasis his)

In our church we are in the process of evaluating candidates for elders. I am praying concerning whether to pursue this or not if I am nominated for it. To get an idea for the qualifications of eldership, both for personal introspection, as well as consideration of my other brothers for this very important responsibility, I am currently reading Richard Baxter's The Reformed Pastor.

I am not quite half way through this book, and I've been blown away at the convicting nature of it. There are only three long chapters in this book, made up of many "sections." The whole first chapter is dedicated to "The Oversight of Ourselves."

My first inclination is to react with, "Why do I need this? After all, I know I am saved." Well then, am I really? Do my fruits show it? After reading this I would wonder about my own soul if I were not moved to conviction on the things that he brought up. The care and discipleship of the congregation can only come after a pastor examines his own heart and maintains a humble and pentinent attitude.

I recommend this book for anyone who is considering eldership, or anyone who is forming expectations of future elders and has a say in who they will be. Click on the image below to be directed to where you can order it.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Baby's Blood

"You have baby's blood." That's what the Oklahoma Blood Institute told me yesterday when I gave blood. I just looked at the lady puzzled. She explained that since I am O- and CMV negative that my type of blood is in great demand for giving to babies. CMV is a virus that about 50% of the population carry, but they never know they have it. It doesn't usually cause problems for adults, but for babies whose immune systems are weak, it could be hazardous.

Now, I suppose I can trust what they are telling me, but I'm also a little suspicious! Have they been reading my blog? The point is that they really know how to "push my buttons." Whereas before I gave blood because I thought it was the right thing to do, now I have a renewed zeal knowing that my blood may save the lives of babies. How I could I, as a dyed in the wool pro-lifer, resist doing something that could save babies' lives?

So, here's a big "howdy" to all you Oklahoma Blood Institute employees who are reading my blog! See you in 112 days. (I donate double red blood cells. Whole blood donations can be done every 56 days.)

Here's a link to their website:

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Homeschooling Group Buys

I have found a good resource for getting group discounts on homeschooling curriculum. I have recently purchased at a 40% discount. If you are a homeschooling family you should check it out. It costs nothing to join, and there are many discounts on many different types of curriculum.

Click on the graphic to link to their site:

Homeschool Buyers Co-op

Monday, June 01, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Thou shalt not kill.
(Deu 5:17)

Last night after family worship I looked at my email on my Blackberry and learned some shocking news. Late term abortionist George Tiller had been shot and killed yesterday during his church service.

We don't have a TV, and we didn't listen to the radio at all yesterday, so it's likely that you heard about this sooner than I did.

For those unfamiliar with the abortion debate you may be unfamiliar with George Tiller. He was, by far, the most ruthless, blood thirsty, and money hungry abortionist I had ever read or heard about. He performed gruesome "partial-birth" abortions. Indeed, he was one of a very few in the country willing to kill children in this manner.

Yet, in all of this, I must decry his killing. It is not given unto man, as individuals, to carry out justice. As sinful as he was, George Tiller was made in the image of God. Our responsibility was to pray for his soul. I am convinced that he is burning in hell right now, and that saddens me greatly. The torments of hell are too much to wish upon even our greatest enemy. How much better would it have been for George Tiller to have joined the ranks of other abortion "turncoats" like Dr. Benard Nathanson, Carol Everett, and Norma McCorvey?

Pray for the Tiller family. Pray for our country. Pray that the liberals will not be allowed to use the actions of a crazed mad man to paint pro-lifers as "violent." The man who shot Tiller was not "pro-life" at all. I join with my brothers and sisters fighting this great abortion holocaust in declaring that:

...we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
(Eph 6:12)

God help us.