The Law of God — Simply Instructions In Which We Are to Live

Wilhelmus á Brakel writes:

The rule for holiness is the law of God… Torah, whic is the Hebrew word for ‘law,’ is derived from ‘hora’, which means ‘to teach,’ ‘to instruct.’ A law is thus a lesson or instruction in the way which one ought to go.

O, that we would learn the simplicity of God’s Law to us.  Far too often, we come to God’s law, thinking about how it restricts us, binds us, and keeps us from worldly pleasures. Yet, true contentment is found in God’s law, and obedience to the Lawgiver. His words to us are His guides for us. We are not restricted by keeping the law, but blessed in doing so.

Yes, as the Apostle Paul says, the Law shows us our sin and in doing so, drives us to the cross. But in Christ, His commandments are pleasing to us because they reveal God’s holiness to us, and show us how it is that we should live. á Brakel continues:

God alone, by virtue of His nature, is the majestic and exalted One. He gives life to man and by His influence preserves his being. The LORD Himself is worthy of being obeyed. He has the authority to issue commands, even if there were no creature. The existence of the creature presupposes its origin in Him, and therefore the creature is subject to Him in his existence and functioning. The creature is furthermore obligated to render all obedience to is Maker. Even if the intelligent creature did not have an express command, he is nevertheless, from the first moment of his existence, obligated to obey God as the only Lawgiver in all that He has impressed upon his nature and in all that He would either command or prohibit relative to a variety of matters.

We would do well to remember this truth and reality. God has given us life, and His Law, to be obeyed and cherished, for in the Law, we catch just a glimpse of how holy He is, and how needful we are for the gospel. Let us learn from á Brakel, and from the Psalmist:

Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
Who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!
They also do no iniquity;
They walk in His ways.
You have commanded us
To keep Your precepts diligently.
Oh, that my ways were directed
To keep Your statutes!
Then I would not be ashamed,
When I look into all Your commandments.
I will praise You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
I will keep Your statutes;
Oh, do not forsake me utterly!
~Psalm 119~

Questions That Don’t Need to be Asked

My wife and I, through normal conversations, have come up with questions that never need to be asked. I know this seems simple, because it is. There are just some things that when you give them some thought, don’t need to be asked.

“Do you want to cook steaks on the grill tonight?”

“What else do we need to eat tonight besides steak and salad?”

“Would you like a glass of wine with that?”

“Would you like some chocolate?”

“Should we smoke a cigar?”

What you are actually seeing is the anatomy of a date night for Heidi and me. This usually comes after we make the drive to Dallas to visit Trader Joe’s to pick out food for the week and flowers for the table.

As you can see, the simple things of life are the best of God’s blessings.

 

 

The Apostle Paul Says We Don’t Have to Boycott Target

Just about every six months or so, there is some group calling on all Christians to boycott company X or company Y, because the company supports some ungodly cause. For some, the boycott is cathartic in that it gives them the sense that they are doing something about the evil that persists in the world. But the reality for the believer is that we can still shop at Target, Starbucks, and even attend football games put on by the NCAA without damaging our witness as believers. There is no need to have our consciences bound by these new calls for righteousness, especially since our righteousness comes from Christ alone, not our boycotts of the wicked.

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Dear Fellow Christians

Dear Fellow Christians,

You still have not convinced me from Scripture how it is my responsibility to “save the nation” by voting for Trump. I know that many of you are excited because Ted Cruz endorsed Trump today, as if, the salvation of the nation were in Cruz’ hands.

I have also seen that Franklin Graham is making the same appeal, that we vote for Trump to stave (the transitive verb definition) off Hillary.

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The Apostle Paul Doesn’t Care if You Vote

PERSONAL NOTE: Please know up front that I don’t hate America. I am a veteran and love this country. However, I do recognize that with all there is to love about America, she is no more special than any other country in relationship to the God of the Bible. Therefore, as Christians, our focus should be on our KING and His Kingdom.

In the battle of the upcoming election, I have really had to question my views on voting for Trump or not. This may be why some Trumpsters get under my skin so. I know that my writing about Trump has angered a lot of people, including some dear friends. As of yet, no one has convinced me that voting for Trump is what I should do as one committed to following Christ. I also know that no matter what I say here, other Christians are committed to voting for Trump on their convictions as well. We all have our own convictions. This is a post in which I’m trying to explain mine once more. With that, if I have tried to bind your conscience in earlier posts about the election, please forgive me. Obviously this topic is really difficult for a lot of us.

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Is Infant Baptism Protestant?

R. Scott Clark has a 9-part series on Paedobaptism that is quite helpful. Here is the portion of the first installment:

Is Infant Baptism Protestant?

In short, yes. All the Protestant Reformers including Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin held to infant baptism. Though these three great Protestants disagreed on many things, they all agreed on the Protestant doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. They also agreed that infant baptism is a biblical practice and the best expression of the Protestant gospel.8 In fact, infant baptism has been the practice of the historic Christian church since the Apostolic period.9 Of course the historic practice of the church does not settle the question. Historic practice, however, suggests a certain presumption in favor of infant baptism. Nevertheless, tradition alone is not sufficient reason for any practice in the church. Therefore Reformed Christians practice covenant baptism because we are commanded to do so in both the Old and New Covenant Scriptures. 10

Baptism: The New Testament Sign of Abraham

Part of what I have been trying to say when it comes to baptism, in order to show that it involves the entire family, is to understand the mindset of the First Century Jew when it came to the sign of circumcision. Both baptism and circumcision are signs of the covenant of grace (often called the New Covenant) and pointing us to the gospel (even in the Old Testament).

Here I would like to show the requirements given to Abraham in Genesis 17 for circumcision. Please note, this is given before the Mosaic Covenant which included the ceremonial rituals of the temple. So the requirements predate that covenant, and therefore were not negated as the ceremonial law was in the New Testament. In other words, the requirements and instructions of the covenant still remain even though the sign has changed.

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Dear Evangelical Trumpsters

Dear Evangelical Trumpsters,

I think you might have more credibility with me if you were to come right out and apologize to Bill Clinton for all the things you said about him while he was President of the United States. Remember how we piled on about how immoral he was, and how he lied under oath, even to the point of impeachment? We were all right in doing so. He was a disgrace to the office of the president.

But in supporting Trump, you have lost your credibility. You have shown that your allegiance is really open to the highest bidder, simply because someone has an R behind their name. The moment you pull that lever for Trump, is the moment you compromise your convictions for expediency. You are basically a pragmatist, and every thing you opposed in Clinton (and others) because of biblical principles is now compromised. Anything you say from this point forward in trying to be salt and light in society and culture, is empty. It is really sad that you are willing to sell out your convictions, your truth, your doctrine so easily, when push comes to shove. What is even sadder than this, is that you are selling out to save your comfortable way of life. You are not willing to give up anything in order to stand for Christ. True believers will gladly give it all up, to follow their LORD.

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The Myth of Catholic Sainthood

This past weekend, the Roman Catholic Church decided to make Mother Teresa a saint. The RCC has had this bad habit of thinking it can declare sainthood for some time now. I know that many will marvel at the wonderful “works” that Mother Teresa performed in her life, but none of those works, no matter how many Buddhists she inspired to be a better Buddhist, will garner her one ounce of merit worthy of sainthood.

We must remember that the RCC, all the popes, nuns, mothers, and others, departed from the true faith of the gospel many hundreds of years ago. In their belief that the popes are in the line with the Apostle Peter, they somehow came up with the idea that they could declare who was and is a saint. Now, if you know anything about human nature, you can see very quickly that declaring someone a saint, can become very political in nature. This is the last thing we need in the body of Christ: a group of fallen men who think they have the right to speak for Christ, and standing in place of Christ, declaring who is and isn’t a saint. With this being the case, people will have to tow their party line in order for anyone to become a saint. Then, on top of that, they don’t bother with the average member of their religion, only the popular ones get to be saints. It’s sort of like an Amway marketing scheme for the religiously devout, only those with the triple diamond award pins get to be considered.

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Why Do Paedobaptist Believe that Baptism Replaces Circumcision

In my ongoing study on the defense of paedobaptism, I’m hoping to shore up many of the areas of concern that people have when it comes to this topic of paedobaptism, or the baptism of infants, toddlers, and children into the covenant-keeping community.

One of the big hurdles for credobaptists, who believe that only professing believers should be baptized, is the argument that we make showing that baptism replaces circumcision. We come to this position in the way the Paul speaks of baptism and circumcision. He uses the words interchangeably, showing that in essence, the two signs are similar even though circumcision is no longer a sign required for the people of God (see Acts 15). He does this in Colossians 2:11-13.

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