Morality without Godliness?

Dr MLJ“You cannot have morality without godliness. There in a phrase, it seems to me, I have indicated the whole trouble during the last fifty years in particular. There are good people in the land who are very much concerned about morality; but they are not concerned about godliness. You simply cannot have morality, finally, without godliness. And the last half century has proved that to the very hilt. If we go back a hundred years and more we find that the great emphasis was upon godliness. But then a generation came which said in effect, Morality is very good and it is most essential for the country, but of course we do not want this godliness any longer; we no longer believe in the supernatural, we do not believe in miracles, we do not believe that Christ is the Son of God–He was no more than a great moral teacher–and so, of course, we must shed all this godly part of it. And they did so. They thought that they could preserve morality without the godliness. But you see what has happened. Continue reading

Understanding Law and Gospel

Over at Reformation21, Carl Trueman assesses a recent blog post by Tullian Tchividjian, calling for “a much needed face-to-face debate” after Tchividjian’s claim that Reformed and evangelical preachers are confusing law and gospel; Michael Kruger provides a helpful response to Tchividjian at his blog, leading to a Kruger-Tchividjian exchange in the comments section. Reading through the posts it seems plain to me that Tchividjian lacks clarity on the relationship of law and gospel–and that his counter-bloggers (Trueman, Kruger, et al) capably and clearly explain the scriptural relationship of the law and the gospel. Others have as well, including:
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Transformation

 

This short video chronicles the outer transformation of Jim Wolf, through the kindness of others. It is a beautiful picture of the radically greater transformation of sinner to saint through the cleansing and transforming work of Jesus Christ. “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19-20) “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11-13) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Learning from the Death of Christ

“Here [in the suffering and death of Christ] we see the horrid and hateful evil of sin, which no other sacrifice could expiate but the blood of the Son of God. As the power of a disease is known by the strength of the treatment need to cure it, and the value of a good by the money needed to buy it, so it is here. The sufferings and death of Christ express the evil of sin far above the most severe judgments that any creature ever endured. The dying groans of our blessed Redeemer display the horrid nature of sin, and declare how hateful it is in the sight of an infinitely pure and holy God.

How much evil there must be in sin for Christ to have to groan and bleed to death to take it away. It is strange to imagine how rational humans would dare to commit such evil, so freely and openly, and for trifles and illusory things, of no lasting value. If God did not spare his own Son [who was pure and holy as our Substitute], how will sinners escape, who are deeply and universally defiled? Can they bear for ever, what was intolerable for Christ to bear for a few hours, who had all the strength of the Deity to support him? O what incredible madness it is for men to drink iniquity like water, as if it is a harmless thing, when it is poison so dangerous and deadly, and the least drop brings ruin. Continue reading

Taking Sin Seriously

Too often we think little of God, his perfect holiness, righteousness, and justice, and as a result little of what our sin really is and does. Reflecting on this perennial reality of the human heart, Thomas Boston (1676-1732) warned his congregation:

“Let no man think lightly of sin, which lays the sinner open to the wrath of God. Let not the sin of our nature seem a small thing in our eyes. Fear the Lord because of His dreadful wrath. Tremble at the thought of sin, against which God has such fiery indignation… Admire the matchless love which brought you out of the state of wrath… it was no easy work to purchase the life of the condemned sinner, but He gave His life for your life. He gave his precious blood to quench the flame of wrath, which otherwise would have consumed you.” Continue reading

Water, Wine, and Milk

fountainThe following article is a guest contribution by Dale VanDyke, pastor of Harvest Orthodox Presbyterian Church. It was originally part of the sermon preached in the evening service on April 14, 2013, and is published here with the kind permission of the author.

“Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” It is the great glory of God that he calls not the righteous but sinners to repentance. Here in this great invitation God calls out to the thirsty. But why are God’s people so thirsty?

Jeremiah 2:13 gives us the answer, as God grieves the tragic choice of his rebellious children: Continue reading

Street Preaching

A friend just passed along this great youtube video of a street preacher in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina on New Years Eve, 2012.

It made me wonder… For all the conferences and coalitions, for all the togetherness around the gospel there is in evangelical and Reformed communities, what would the vitality of the church be like, how much more would God be glorified in the West and around the world, if we grew in simply taking up or purposely creating opportunities to speak the Word of God to friends, neighbors, and communities? Continue reading

The Mystery of the Father’s Love

“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)

John also informs us of the capacity in which the Father sent the Son — ‘a propitiation for our sins’. It is this that crowns the manifestation. Amazement is the only proper reaction on our part to a mission of the only begotten into a world of sin, and misery, and death. What humiliation for the holy One to be subjected to conditions the opposite of both his character and glory. But to be sent as ‘a propitiation for our sins’ astounds amazement itself. What does propitiation mean? Continue reading