Love also requires commitment. It requires a commitment to God and His holiness, as well as a commitment to one another. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11). We must be personally and corporately committed to holiness. This means disciplining ourselves and being willing to submit to the discipline of the Body. Love requires discipline. The author of Hebrews tells us that if we don’t discipline our children, we don’t love them. In fact, a failure to discipline your children is to treat them like “bastards” (Heb 12:8, KJV). Love requires discipline that conforms us to the pattern of holiness (Prov 3:11, 12). This is, perhaps, the most heartbreaking aspect of the mainline church’s drift into apostasy. They earnestly want to love one another. But that love has no meaning beyond the personal happiness of individuals. Thus, when members are in open and unrepentant sin, the most loving thing to do would be to call them to repent. Instead, the boundaries of acceptable behavior are simply moved to continue including them. Happiness is called love and the truth is substituted for a lie. This is happening in the evangelical church as well. A failure to execute discipline, both informal and formal, on the members of Christ’s Church will lead to a rejection of Christ.
Though troubles assail us, and dangers affright,
Though friends should all fail us, and foes all unite,
Yet one thing secures us, whatever betide,
The promise assures us, “The Lord will provide.”
The birds, without garner or storehouse, are fed;
From them let us learn to trust God for our bread:
His saints what is fitting shall ne’er be denied
So long as ’tis written, “The Lord will provide.”
When Satan assails us to stop up our path,
And courage all fails us, we triumph by faith.
He cannot take from us, though oft he has tried,
This heart-cheering promise, “The Lord will provide.”
No strength of our own, and no goodness we claim;
Yet, since we have known of the Saviour’s great name,
In this our strong tower for safety we hide:
The Lord is our power, “The Lord will provide.”
Assurance versus Presumption by Joel Beeke on Jun 24, 2016, Meet the Puritans
Assurance and presumption come from different root causes. Assurance comes from the Spirit of God enlightening the heart and working childlike affections. Presumption comes from a lack of experiential knowledge of the depth and danger of one’s sin and the clinging presence of self-love and self-flattery (Prov. 16:2). more
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Excerpt from Tabletalk Magazine, July 2016, The False Calvinist, by Rev. Joe Thorn.
The one who embraces the absolute sovereignty and unbreakable love of God, in light of our own moral inability to do good or please Him, will be struck with awe and overwhelmed with meekness. The Father chose us, the Son died for us, and the Spirit awoke us when we were rebelling, refusing, and resisting. Salvation is truly of the Lord, leaving us no room for boasting or pride.
The authority and inerrancy of Holy Scripture are the bedrock upon which true Christianity stands. We depend upon Scripture’s witness for all that we hold true concerning God, man, and the way of salvation in Christ. The great events of redemptive history, such as the incarnation of the Son of God in the person of Jesus Christ, His atoning death, His glorious resurrection, and His ascension into heaven, are recorded only in Scripture. If the witness of Scripture is not reliable and compelling, then we have no basis for our faith and nothing to command our obedience.
Scripture has authority because it is the Word of God. God is first revealed as the Creator who speaks with compelling authority to call creation into being out of nothing (Gen. 1). That creative word was executed by the Holy Spirit, who secured the result intended by the words that were spoken. From that time until Christ came, God continued to speak through His servants, the prophets. In the person of His Son, God has spoken His final word, offering grace, forgiveness, and eternal life to all who believe in Christ (Heb. 1:1–3).
Moved by the testimony of the Holy Spirit, Christians confess that God’s Word is true and trustworthy in all that it affirms. If the basic tenets of our faith are challenged by anyone, our reply must be, “Thus saith the Lord.” This is equally so whether it concerns what man is to believe concerning God or what duty God requires of man. As a rule or authority for faith and life, Scripture has no equal or rival, but stands alone and supreme. more