Monday, October 30, 2006

CJ @ Southern

This last week, CJ Mahaney was at Southern Seminary preaching at their chapel services all week. Bob Kauflin was there with him leading worship. What a wonderful experience for these southern baptist students to have experienced a Sovereign Grace worship service!!!

Al Mohler provides a
review of the week and has this to say about CJ "He appeared in Alumni Chapel in sartorial splendor. Here is proof. What a friend. What a preacher. What a servant."

The links to the audio of the sermons can be found here. Enjoy!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Seriousness of Sin

So I have been thinking lately about sin, and our reactions to it. I have been thinking a lot of us view sin as simply an inevtiable part of our lives. I have been thinking that a lot of times, what Person A considers sin, Person B just considers a matter of difference in convictions. I have been thinking about our susceptibility to become numb to sin and to participate in that which isn't REALLY holy because it is all in the name of spreading the gospel and showing the world that we as Believers can have fun too. Basically...I have been doing a lot of thinking. And there are two quotes that I wish to share with the world about all of this. But first, to begin with Scriputre.

First of all, yes, Scripture DOES say in Romans 3:23
that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And I think many of us embrace this and think I have sinned, which means that I WILL sin, so why not sin here-today and now-cause I'm going to sin somewhere on down the road. BUT, Ezekiel 36:27 says I will put my Spirit in you, and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. An expository on this verse that I was reading by Charles Spurgeon talks about the fact that the very Spirit which is God has deigned to dwell in mortal man, and yet we offend Him daily by sinful actions and thoughts and desires.

How is it that we forget that we have the Comforter within us-the Savior left so that the Comforter may come and yet we would rather watch an unpure movie or laugh at an unkind joke. I think that it is because we are so callous with our own sin that we therefore are callous with the Spirit of God within us. I think it is because we don't understand the depravity of our every sinful action that we are not more grieved at the wretched nature of our sinful soul. Somehow, we have gotten to the point where we think that when we sin, it does not offend the Holy God. Charles Spurgeon has this to say:

The Spirit also works conviction. Conviction is more forcible than illumination:
it is the setting of a truth before the eye of the soul, so as to make it powerful
upon the conscience. I speak to many here who know what conviction
means; still I will explain it from my own experience
. I knew what sin meant
by my reading, and yet I never knew sin in its heinousness and horror,
till I found myself bitten by it as by a fiery serpent, and felt its poison
boiling in my veins. When the Holy Ghost made sin to appear sin,
then was I overwhelmed with the sight, and I would fain have fled
from myself to escape the intolerable vision. A naked sin stripped of all excuse,
and set in the light of truth, is a worse sight than to see the devil himself.
When I saw sin as an offence against a just and holy God, committed by
such a proud and yet insignificant creature as myself, then was I alarmed.
Sirs, did you ever see and feel yourselves to be sinners? "Oh, yes," you say, "we are sinners."

0 sirs, do you mean it? Do you know what it means? Many of you are no more
sinners in your own estimation than you are Hottentots. The beggar who exhibits
a sham sore knows not disease; if he did he would have enough of it
without pretenses. To kneel down and say, "Lord, have mercy upon us
miserable sinners," and then to get up and feel yourself a very decent
sort of body, worthy of commendation, is to mock Almighty God. It is
by no means a common thing to get hold of a real sinner,
one who is truly so in his own esteem; and it is as pleasant as
it is rare, for you can bring to the real sinner the real Savior,
and He will welcome him.

And also this:

"let us abhor the sin which brought such agony upon our
beloved Lord. What an accursed thing is sin, which
crucified the Lord Jesus! Do you laugh at it? Will you go
and spend an evening to see a mimic performance of it?
Do you roll sin under your tongue as a sweet morsel, and
then come to God's house, on the Lord's-day morning,
and think to worship him? . . . Sin murdered Christ; will
you be a friend to it? Sin pierced the heart
of the Incarnate God; can you love it?"

Do you love sin? Do you pay to be entertained by sin? The very sin which crushed the Son of the Most High God? I hear people say "But this is fun." Friend, God has not called you to live a life of fun. He has called you to live a life that brings glory to Him? He will not ask you one day "How much fun did you have?" Is your life proclaiming the name of Christ? Is your life resonating that glory that is God's through out the world?

I know this can become legalistic. I know that is what this can tend towards. This is right and that is wrong. So then people say they don't want to be legalistic and they have freedom in Christ and yes, friend this is true. In God's gracious mercy though, it won't be this way. But ask yourself. Is the activity that you so wish to do beneficial? Is it good? What is motivating you? Can God receive Glory from it? WILL He recieve glory from it? Is it causing another brother or sister to stumble?

I'm not asking you to be legalistic. I don't want to be legalistic. I just want us to consider that it was sin-murder, hatred, envy, gossip, jealousy, lies, disobedience, etc.-for which Christ hung on the cross. Sin murdered the living breathing incarnate God...will you be friend to it?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Embracing Accusations

My friend Michael recently reccomended a song to me by one of my all-time favorite groups "Shane and Shane" The song is called "Embracing Accusations" and at first glance, even if you know Shane Barnard, you begin to wonder if his theology has just gone totally off the deep end. It seems to be essentially a song praising the devil, for he is right.

Shane says he was running on the beach one evening before a show and was meditating on Galatians 3:10:
All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written “cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”
He said he was overwhelmed with guilt at this truth from Satan...that because he does not follow everything written in the Book of the Law, he is cursed. Satan was trying to tear apart Shane's faith but instead, ended up preaching the gospel to him. Yes, he is cursed BUT Christ paid that death for us, so he is cursed no longer. For this passage from Galations doesn't end there, it goes onto to say in Galations 3:13:
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written “cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

This song isn't on a CD yet so you can't hear a edited version of it, but thanks to the world of YouTube, you can listen to a scratchy yet still amazing performance by Shane and Shane here

These are the lyrics.

Father of lies, coming to steal kill and destroy
All my hopes of being good enough
I hear him saying, “cursed are the ones who can’t abide”

He’s right, halleluia, he’s right
The devil is preaching the song of the redeemed
That I am cursed and gone astray
I cannot gain salvation
Embracing accusation

Could the father of lies be telling the truth of
God to me tonight?
That if the penalty of sin is death, then death is mine
I hear him saying, “cursed are the ones who can’t abide”

The devil’s singing over me an age old song
That I am cursed and gone astray
Singing the first verse so conveniently over me
He’s forgotten the refrain.

PRAISE GOD. I cannot gain salation. I would never even come close to earning or securing my own righteousness. This is the song that I sing, I was cursed, but Jesus saves. What Satan has meant to condemn me instead cause me to once again look at the cross in awe and humble adoration and overwhelming praise.

Praise God that I serve a risen King who took my curse upon Himself. Praise God Praise God Praise God!!