Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fighting Five Articles of Interest

Reformation Theology

The Greatness of the Love of Christ by Nathan Bingham

Nathan shows us the greatness of the love of Christ throughout Scipture.


Proverbial perspectives at the year's turn by Dan Phillips

Balancing our human planning while taking into consideration God's will for this upcoming New Year.

Reformed Baptist Fellowship

Paul: War-Monger for the Truth by James White

Why standing for the truth is so important when practicing apologetics.

Institute for Nouthetic Studies Blog

Providential Living by Jay Adams

Jay Adams reviews his life and ministry and shows us God's providential direction in his life.

Possessing the Treasure

Stand Firm as the Day of the Lord Approacheth by Mike Ratliff

Mike implores us to stand firm in the faith and to beware of the man of destruction.

"FIGHTING MAD" Or Other Articles of Interest


Megachurch pastor asks for urgent donations by The Associated Press

Saddleback Church faces budget deficit. Rick Warren asks his congregation for $900,000 by January 1.

Grace To You Thursday: Bless God for What Humbles You (Interview With John MacArthur)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fighting Five Articles of Interest

The New Paganism by Tim Challies

Tim discusses a section from Bruce Waltke's book entitled Old Testament Theology,

RBS Tabletalk

In This New Year, For Me – To Live – Is Christ by John Reuther

John encourages us to "press on" as the New Year approaches.

Ligonier Blog

Plumbing the Depths of Christ's Person by R.C. Sproul

Dr. Sproul asks us to reflectively consider the person of Christ

Pulpit Magazine

Pragmatism: Modernism Recycled by John MacArthur

John MacArthur explains that the roots and fruits of Pragmatism stems from Modernism.

What Is Pragmatism & Why Is It Bad? by John MacArthur

John continues his series on Pragmatism.

"FIGHTING MAD" Or Other Articles of Interest

WorldNet Daily

Obama's ‘Most Important’ Message by Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris (Yes, it's that Chuck Norris) describes President Obama's compromise of the truth of the Christmas message during his visit to the Boys and Girls Club in Washington D.C

YouTube: DNA Evidence v. the Book of Mormon

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A.W. Pink: Vile! (Selected essays from A.W. Pink)


Arthur W. Pink

We are rather afraid that its title will deter some from reading this article: we hope it will not be so. True, it does not treat of a popular theme, nay one which is now very rarely heard in the pulpit; nevertheless, it is a scriptural one. Fallen man is "vile," so vile that it has been rightly said "he is half brute, half devil." Nor does such a description exceed the truth. Man is "born like a wild ass’s colt" (Job 11:12), and he is "taken captive by the devil at his will" (2 Tim. 2:26). Perhaps the reader is ready to reply, Ah, that is man in his unregenerate state, but it is far otherwise with the regenerate. From one viewpoint that is true; from another, it is not so.

Did not the Psalmist acknowledge, "So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was a beast before Thee" (Ps. 73:22) unteachable, untractable, kicking against God’s providential dealings, not behaving like a man, much less like a saint! Again, did not Agur confess, "Surely I am more brutish than any man" (Prov. 30:2). True, we never hear such lamentations as these from those who claim to have received their "Pentecost" or "second blessing," nor from those who boast they are living "the victorious life." But to those who are painfully conscious of the "plague" of their own heart, such words may often describe their case. Only recently we received a letter from a dear brother in Christ, saying "the vanity and corruption that I find within, which refuses to be kept in subjection, is so strong at times that it makes me cry out 'my wounds do stink and are corrupt.'"

Does the reader object against our appropriation of the Psalms and Proverbs, and say, We in this New Testament age occupy much higher ground than those did. Probably you have often been told so by men, but are you sure of it from the Word of God? Listen, then, to the groan of an eminent Christian: "I am carnal, sold under sin" (Rom. 7:14). Do you never feel thus, my reader? Then we are sincerely sorry for you. As to the other part of the description of fallen man, "half devil": did not Christ say to regenerate Peter, "Get thee behind Me, Satan: thou art an offense unto Me" (Matthew 16:23)? And are there not times when writer and reader fully merits the same reproof? Speaking for myself, I bow my head with shame, and say, Alas there is.

"Behold, I am vile" (Job 40:4). This was not said by Cain in a remorseful moment after his murder of Abel, nor by Judas after he had betrayed the Saviour into the hands of His enemies; instead, it was the utterance of one of whom God said, "There is none like him in the earth, a perfect (sincere) and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil" (Job 1:8). Was Job’s language the effect of extreme melancholy, induced by his terrible afflictions? If not, was he justified in using such strong language of self-deprecation? If he was, are Christians today warranted in echoing the same?

In order to arrive at the correct answer to the above questions, let us ask another: when was it that Job said, "Behold, I am vile?" Was it when he first received tidings of his heavy losses? No, for then he exclaimed, "the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (1:21). Was it when his friends reasoned with and reproved him? No, for then he vindicated himself and boasted of his goodness. Then when was it that Job declared "Behold, I am vile"? It was when the Lord appeared to him and gave him a startling revelation of His own wondrous perfections! It was when he stood in the all-penetrating light of God’s immaculate holiness and was made to realize something of His mighty power.

Ah, when a soul is truly brought into the presence of the living God, boasting ceases, our comeliness is turned into corruption (Dan. 10:8), and we cry, "Woe is me! for I am undone" (Isa. 6:5). When God makes to the soul a personal revelation of His wondrous perfections, that individual is effectually convinced of his own wretchedness. The more we are given to discern the ineffable glory of the Lord, the more will our self-complacency wither. It is in God’s light, and in that only, "we see light" (Ps. 36:9). When He shines into our understandings and hearts, and brings to light "the hidden things of darkness," we perceive the utter corruption of our nature, and are abominable in our own eyes. While we measure ourselves by our fellows, we shall, most likely, think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think (Rom. 12:3); but when we measure ourselves by the holy requirements of God’s nature, we cry "I am dust and ashes" (Gen. 18:27). True repentance changes a man’s opinion of himself.

Is, then, a Christian today warranted in saying "Behold, I am vile"? Not as faith views himself united to the One who is "altogether lovely"; but as faith discerns, in the light of the Word, what he is by nature, what he is in and of himself he may. Not that he is to hypocritically adopt such language in order to gain the reputation of great humility; nay, such an utterance is only to be found upon our lips as it is the feeling expression of our hearts: particularly is it to be owned before God, when we come to Him in contrition and in confession. Yet is it also to be acknowledged before the saints, even as the apostle Paul cried publicly, "O wretched man that I am!" (Rom. 7:24). It is part of our testimony to own (before those who fear the Lord) what God has revealed to us.

"Behold; I am vile": such is the candid and sorrowful confession of the writer.

1.) I am vile in my imaginations: O what scum rises to the surface when lusts boil within me. What filthy pictures are visioned in "the chambers of my imagery" (Ezek. 8:12). What unlawful desires run riot within. Yes, even when engaged in meditating upon the holy things of God, the mind wanders and the fancy becomes engaged with what is foul and fetid. How often does the writer have to acknowledge before God that "from the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness" in him, "but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores" (Isa. 1:6). Nightly does he avail himself of that Fountain which has been opened "for sin and for uncleanness" (Zech. 13:1).

2.) I am vile in my self-will: How fretful am I when God blows upon my plans and thwarts my desires. What surgings of rebellion within my wicked breast when God’s providences displease. Instead of lying placidly as clay in the Potter’s hand, how often do I act like the restive colt, which rears and kicks, refusing to be held in with bit and bridle, determined to have my own way. Alas, alas, how very little have I learned of Him who was "meek and lowly in heart." Instead of "the flesh" in me being purified, it has putrefied; instead of its resistance to the spirit weakening, it appears to be stronger each year. O that I had the wings of a dove, that I could fly away from myself.

3.) I am vile in my religious pretenses: How often I am anxious to make "a fair show in the flesh" and be thought highly of by others. What hypocrisies have I been guilty of in seeking to gain a reputation for spirituality. How frequently have I conveyed false impressions to others, making them suppose it was far otherwise within me than was actually the case. What pride and self-righteousness have swayed me. And of what insincerity have I, at times, been guilty of in the pulpit: praying to the ears of the congregation instead of to God, pretending to have liberty when my own spirit was bound, speaking of those things which I had not first felt and handled for myself. Much, very much cause has the writer to take the leper’s place, cover his lips, and cry "Unclean, unclean!"

4.) I am vile in my unbelief: How often am I still filled with doubts and misgivings. How often do I lean unto my own understanding instead of upon the Lord. How often do I fail to expect from God (Mark 11:24) the things for which I ask Him. When the hour of testing comes, only too frequently are past deliverances forgotten. When troubles assail, instead of looking off unto the things unseen, I am occupied with the difficulties before me. Instead of remembering that with God all things are possible, I am ready to say, "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" (Ps. 78:19). True it is not always thus, for the Holy Spirit graciously keeps alive the faith which He has placed within; but when He ceases to work, and a trial is faced, how often do I give my Master occasion to say, "How is it that ye have no faith?" (Mark 4:40).

Reader, how closely does your experience correspond with the above? Is it true that, "As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man" (Prov. 27:19)? Have we been describing some of the symptoms of your diseased heart? Have you ever owned before God "Behold, I am vile"? Do you bear witness to the humbling fact before your brethren and sisters in Christ? It is comparatively easy to utter such words, but do you feel them? Does the realization of this truth make you "blush" (Ezra 9:6) and groan in secret? Have you such a person and painful sense of your vileness that often, you feel thoroughly unfit to draw nigh unto a holy God? If so:

1. You have abundant cause to be thankful to God that his Holy Spirit has shown you something of your wretched self, that He has not kept you in ignorance of your woeful state, that He has not left you in that gross spiritual darkness that enshrouds millions of professing Christians. Ah my stricken brother, if you are groaning over the ocean of corruption within, an feel utterly unworthy to take the sacred name of Christ upon your polluted lips, then you should be unfeignedly thankful that you belong not to that great multitude of self-complacent and self-righteous religionists of whom it is written, "They were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down" (Jer. 8:12). Much cause have you to praise the God of all grace that He anointed your sin-blinded eyes, and that now, in His sight, you are able to see a little of your hideous deformities, and cry "I am black" (Song of Sol. 1:5).

2. You have abundant cause to walk softly before God. Must not the realization of our vileness truly humble us before Him, make us smite upon our breast, and cry "God be merciful to me, the sinner!" Yes, such a prayer is as suited to the mature saint as it was when first convicted of his lost estate, for he is to continue as he began: Colossians 2:6, Revelation 2:5. But alas, how quickly does the apprehension of our vileness leave us! How frequently does pride again dominate us. For this reason we are bidden to, "Look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged" (Isa. 5 1:1). Beg God to daily show you your vileness that you may walk humbly before Him.

3. You have abundant cause to marvel at the surpassing love of the Triune God towards you. That the Eternal Three should have set Their heart upon such a wretch is indeed the wonder of all wonders. That God the Father should foreknow and foresee every sin of which you would be guilty in thought and word and deed, and yet have loved thee "with an everlasting love" must indeed fill you with astonishment. That God the Son should have laid aside the robes of His glory and be made in the likeness of sin’s flesh, in order to redeem one so foul and filthy as me, was truly a love "that passeth knowledge." That God the Holy Spirit should take up His residence and dwell in the heart of one so vile, only proves that where sin abounded grace did much more abound. "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood; and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father: to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen" (Rev. 1:5, 6).

HT: PB Ministries

"Don't waste your time reading Barth and Brunner. You will get nothing from them to aid you with preaching. Read Pink." -- D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fighting Five Articles of Interest

Dr. Mohler's Blog

NewsNote: Whatever Happened to Shame? by Al Mohler

Dr. Mohler reviews Ellen Goodman's Boston Globe article, Ashley Dupre, and the absence of shame.

The Many Ways of Destroying the Church by Tim Challies

Tim discusses a quote from D.A. Carson's book "The Cross and the Christian Ministry".

The Christian Century

Calvin's Comeback? by J. Todd Billings

J. Todd Billings analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the New Calvinism.

Pros Apologian Blog

Chicken Coop Theology by James White

Dr. White talks about the harmony of Scripture, ecumenism, and the Manhattan Declaration.

Pulpit Magazine

Measuring Oral Robert’s Influence by John MacArthur.

John MacArthur reviews the life of Oral Roberts and his influence on the prosperity Gospel/Word Faith movement.

Spurgeon Monday: Found by Jesus, and Finding Jesus

Found by Jesus, and Finding Jesus

A Sermon

(No. 2375)
Intended for Reading on Lord's-Day, August 26th, 1894,
Delivered By
At the
Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
On Lord's-Day Evening, June 24th, 1888.

"The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."—John 1:43-45.

FOR a soul to come to Jesus, is the grandest event in its history. It is spiritually dead till that day; but it then begins to live, and a saved man may reckon his age from the time in which he first knew the Lord. That day of first knowing Christ is important in the highest degree, because it affects all the man's past career; it sheds another light on all the years that have gone by If he has lived in sin, as no doubt he has, the transaction of that day blots out all the sin. The day in which a man comes to Christ, that very day his transgressions and iniquities are blotted out, even as the thick clouds are driven from the sky when God's strong wind chases them away. Is not that a grand day in which our sins are cast into the depths of the sea so that henceforth it can be said of them, "They may be sought for, but they shall not be found; yea, they shall not be, saith the Lord"? I say that the day in which a soul comes into contact with Christ is the greatest day of its history, because all the past is changed by it; and as for the present, what a different life does a man begin to live on the day in which he finds the Lord! He commences to live in the light instead of being dead in the darkness; he begins to enjoy the privileges of liberty, instead of suffering the horrors of slavery; he is started on the way to heaven, instead of continuing on the road to hell. He is such a new creature that he cannot tell how changed he is. One said to me, "Sir, the change in me is of this kind; either the whole world is altered, or else I am." So is it when we are brought to know Christ; it is a real, total, radical change. With many, it is a most joyous alteration; they feel like the man who had been lame, and who, when Peter spoke to him in the name of Jesus, and lifted him up, so that his feet and ankle bones received strength, was not satisfied with walking, for we read, "He leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God." He was walking, and leaping, and praising God; do you wonder at it? If you had lost the use of your legs for a while, you would feel like leaping and praising God when you had them all right again; and thus is it with a soul when it first finds the Saviour. Oh! happy, happy day, when the miraculous hand of Christ takes away the infirmities of the soul, and makes the lame man to leap as a hart, and causes the tongue of the dumb to sing!
    The day in which a man comes to Christ is also a wonderful day in its effect upon all his future. It is as when the helm of a ship is put right about; the man now sails in a totally different direction. His future will never be what his past was. There may be faults; there may be infirmities and shortcomings; but there will never be the old love of sin any more. "Sin shall not have dominion over you." This is God's own promise to us, given through his servant Paul. When Christ comes to our soul, he so breaks the neck of sin, that though it lives a struggling, dying life, and often makes a deal of howling in the heart, yet it is doomed to die. The cross of Christ has broken its back, and broken its neck, too, and die it must. Henceforth the man is bound for holiness, and bound for heaven.
    Now, dear friends, have any of you come to Christ? I know that you have, the great mass of you, and I bless God, and so do you, that it is so with you; but if there are any of you who have never come to the Saviour, I wish that this might be the night when you should find him. I am but a poor lame preacher; you are not often troubled with the sight of one sitting down and preaching; yet I think that if I had lost my legs, and had always to lie on my back, I would like even then to preach Christ crucified, and to—

"Tell to sinners round,
What a dear Saviour I have found."

I do pray that some of you to-night, made to think all the more by the infirmity of the preacher, may be led to seek and to find the Saviour, and then it shall be a happy day indeed for you, as it has been for so many more.
    I am going to talk to you about Philip's conversion, and first, I ask you to notice, in our text, the convert's description of it: "Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." That is Philip's description of it: "We have found Jesus." It was a true description, but it was not all the truth; so, in the second place, we will notice the Holy Spirit's description of it: "The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip." Philip's account of the incident is that he found Christ; but the Holy Spirit's record of it is that Christ found Philip. They are both true, however; although the latter is the fuller. We will talk a little about both descriptions of Philip's conversion.
    I. First then, THE CONVERT'S DESCRIPTION OF HIS COMING TO CHRIST is given in these words, "We have found...Jesus," and what he says is perfectly true.
    If any one of you is saved, it will be by finding Christ, by your personally making a discovery of him, as that man did who found the treasure that was hid in the field. There must be a search after Christ; but if there be a search after him, we may be certain of this one thing, that there will first be a consciousness of needing him.
    Philip had sought Christ, or else he would never have said that he had found him; but, before that, Philip knew that there was need of a Messiah. When he looked round about on the world, and on the church, he said to himself, "Oh, that the promised Messiah would come! There is great need of him. The people need him, the church needs him, the world needs him." When Philip looked into his own heart, he said, "Oh, for the coming of the Messiah! I feel that I want him; I have urgent need of him." Dear hearer, do you feel that you need a Saviour? You never will seek him until you do feel your need of him. You must recognize that there is sin in you, sin for which you cannot make atonement, sin that you cannot overcome. You must realize that you need another and a stronger arm than your own, that you need divine help, that you need One who can be your Brother, to sympathize with you, and be patient with you, and yet who can be the Mighty God to conquer all your sin for you. You do need a Saviour; that is the first thing that will prompt you to search for him.
    Wanting a Messiah, Philip read the Scriptures concerning him. He speaks about Moses and the prophets, and of what they had written concerning the promised Deliverer. O my dear hearers, if you want to find Christ, you must search the Scriptures, for they testify of him! Oh, that you did search the Scriptures more, with the definite object of finding the Saviour! Probably, the great majority of unconverted people never read their Bibles at all; or they read only just enough to satisfy their curiosity, or their conscience. Perhaps they read the Bible as a part of literature which cannot be quite ignored; but they do not take down the Holy Book, and read it carefully and prayerfully, saying, "Oh, that I might find holiness here! Oh, that I might find Christ here!" If they did, it would not be long before they found Jesus. Well does Dr. Watts sing,—

"Laden with guilt, and full of fears,
I fly to thee, my Lord,
And not a glimpse of hope appears
But in thy written Word.
The volume of my Father's grace
Does all my griefs assuage;
Here I behold my Saviour's face
Almost in every page."

He who reads the Bible with the view of finding Christ, will not be long before some passage of Scripture will seem to leap up, to attract his attention, as though it were set on fire, and then it will speak to him of Jesus, whispering to him of the great sacrifice on Calvary, and speaking to his heart of divine love and mercy. Philip was a searcher after Christ in the place where Christ loves to be,—in the pages of Scripture,—and you must be the same if you desire to find Jesus.
    But then Philip also gave himself to prayer. We are not told so, but we feel sure of it. He asked the Lord to reveal Christ to him, to guide him to where the Christ would be, to let him know the Christ. Oh, if you want to be saved, be much in prayer! I do not mean merely saying prayers; what is the good of that? I do not mean simply saying fine words of your own, merely for the sake of uttering them. Prayer is communing with God; it is asking the Lord for what you really feel that you need. What waggon-loads of sham prayers are shot down at God's door, as if they were so much rubbish thrown away! Let it not be so with your prayers; but speak to the Lord out of your very soul when you come to the throne of grace. I cannot give you a better prayer than the one we have been singing,—

"Gracious Lord, incline Thine ear,
My requests vouchsafe to hear;
Hear my never-ceasing cry;
Give me Christ, or else I die.

"Lord, deny me what Thou wilt,
Only ease me of my guilt;
Suppliant at Thy feet I lie,
Give me Christ, or else I die.

"Thou dost freely save the lost!
Only in Thy grace I trust:
With my earnest suit comply;
Give me Christ, or else I die.

"Thou hast promised to forgive
All who in Thy Son believe;
Lord, I know Thou canst not lie;
Give me Christ, or else I die."

With the open Bible before you to guide your understanding, kneel down, and say, "O God, graciously reveal Christ to me by thy Holy Spirit; bring me to know him, bring me this day to find him as my own Saviour!"
    It is certain, also, that Philip realized that he might claim the Messiah for himself. One of the things that every man, who would find the Saviour, must do, is to make sure of his right to come and take the Saviour. The question that puzzles many is, "May I have the Saviour?" My dear friends, every sinner in the world is permitted to come and trust the Saviour, if he wills to do so. "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." "But," asks some troubled soul, "will Christ have me?" That is not the question; the question is, "Will you have Christ?" He says, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." It is you who cast out the Saviour, not the Saviour who casts you out. The bolt to the door is on the inside; it is you who have bolted it, and it is you who must undo the bolt, and invite the Saviour to enter your heart. He is willing enough to come in; wherever there is a soul that wants him, he comes at once; therefore, do not raise any quibbling questions about whether a sinner may come to Christ, or may not come. Is he not bidden to come? We are told to preach the gospel to every creature, and he who gave us our great commission also added, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
    Philip accepted Christ as the Messiah. Do you ask, "What am I to do that I may find the Saviour?" Well, what you have to do is practically this, accept him. If you were sick, and the doctor stood before you, with the medicine ready prepared, you would not say, "What am I to do with this medicine, sir? Am I to rub my hand on the outside of the bottle?" You know very well that there are certain directions as to how much is to be taken, and how often. What you have to do with the medicine is to take it. "But I cannot make that medicine work for my restoration." Who said you could? All you have to do is to take it. It is just this that you have to do with Christ; take him, accept him, receive him. Remember the twelfth verse of this chapter out of which our text is taken: "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." That is it, you see, receive him, believe on his name. "But surely I am to do some good works." Certainly, you will do good works after you have received Christ; but for your soul's salvation, you are to do no good works, but simply to receive Christ. "Oh, but I must lead a holy life!" Yes, and you will lead a holy life after you have received Christ; but in order to the leading of a holy life you must have a new heart, and to get a new heart, you have to receive Christ. He will change you, he will renew you, he will make you a new creature in himself. What you have to do is to receive him, and to believe on his name. O my dear hearers, I do trust that I am speaking to some this evening who will understand what I am saying. I fear that I am addressing many who will not believe, though I may put the truth as plainly as it can be preached. You know that you may hold a candle right against a blind man's eyes, and yet he will not see even then. The Holy Spirit must open your eyes to see what is meant by this receiving Christ, or else you will not understand what you are to do. You are not to give anything to Christ; you are to take all from him. You are not to give anything to Christ; you are to take all from him. You are not to bring anything to Christ; you are to come to him just as you are, and he will bring to you everything that you need. Then, when you have accepted him by the simple act of faith, you will say with Philip, "We have found Jesus." That is the convert's description, and a very good one, too: "We have found Jesus." (
Please click here to continue reading, "Found by Jesus, and Finding Jesus")

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A.W. Pink: Signs of the Times


Arthur W. Pink

Studies in the Scriptures

Vol. XVI December 1937 No. 12

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