A Power Not to Fall

Thomas Watson helps us understand just how great Adam’s fall was, in pointing out that Adam had a power not to fall. This is important when you understand the doctrine of original sin. Because of original sin, we are all born sinners. We don’t have the ability to not sin. Yet, Adam, being made good by God, was created good and without sin. Not only that, he had the power not to sin or to fall. I hope you can see how hard this is to fathom, given our own fallen natures.

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Evil and Good, Side-by-Side

In this cross, we find the ultimate evil and the ultimate good side-by-side.

The cross of Christ was the ultimate evil because mankind took their very Creator, hung Him on a cross and put Him to death. They took One who was innocent of all charges, innocent of all sin, and made Him suffer the death of a common criminal.

There has been no greater act of evil done to anyone on earth, ever. The death of Christ was far more evil than the holocaust. It was far more evil than 9/11. It was far more evil than Andrea Pia Yates drowning her six children in a bathtub. It was far more evil than the death of Princess Diana. It was far more evil than any of the school shootings we have had over the past 25 years.

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Rob Bell and His Cleverness

Rob Bell is up and about again with a new documentary on how he became enlightened and became a heretic at the same time. He thinks that being a heretic is a good thing, but alas, this just shows his foolishness. Brett McCracken reviews Bell’s documentary along with another movie about another heretic entitled “Come Sunday,” and does a good job of showing that both these men have nothing to offer but a powerless message.

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The Local Congregation Is Enough

Pastor Jared Olivetti writes:

To fight the danger, let’s hold onto this truth: If there was never another conference, retreat, podcast or seminar, God working through your faithful, local congregation would be everything you need to grow to spiritual maturity. Such events are much like special meals. Perhaps a few times in your life you’ll have a meal you could never forget. Maybe it will be a special feast or a date night at a restaurant you really can’t afford. Those meals are blessings to be enjoyed–but they aren’t what sutains you. You are physically alive because of the normal, everyday meals you eat at home. Even if you don’t remember what you made last Friday for dinner (or what was made for you), you were fed and nourished and sustained by that meal. Such it is with our church family.

Read the rest of the article here.

Photo of the Week:Church Doors

Do you darken them?

If you don’t, your soul is in trouble. If you do, but then go to the wrong doors, your soul is in trouble. Yes, it’s not easy. But to find a church where the gospel of Jesus Christ is truly preached is hard to come by. But your eternal soul depends upon it. You need to start looking if you don’t already have a church home where the leadership, and the pastor, are faithful in preaching God’s word.

Why Theology Matters

There they were, talking theology again. It seemed like every time I went upstairs to the second floor of Lincoln Hall, I would find those four guys discussing theology. Travis Campbell was one of them. You can see him here discussing 10 Undisputed Facts About Jesus. As they would discuss theology, I would stand there and listen as long as possible. But truth be told, most of it was over my head.

They discussed things like predestination, the sovereignty of God, election, and man’s free will, or lack thereof (depending on how you define free will). I had a great deal of respect for the men who were in those debates, many have gone on to fruitful ministries.

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Would It Matter?

I love the simplicity of this church building. It’s nothing fancy. It’s on the same road where my dad lives outside of Brenham, TX, in Washington County. You can see that the paint is peeling, and the parking lot is mostly grass. The building doesn’t have central air, given the window units on the side you cannot see. I’m sure it has that old-church smell to it like a lot of churches do. You may know the smell I speaking of. Most members of old churches don’t notice the smell. They have grown use to it. It’s the smell of “old.” It shows that they haven’t updated anything in many years, no new paint, no new carpet, nothing new at all.

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Racism Is Sin

From R. Scott Clark in his article The Gospel is the Remedy for Racism:

Hyphenation died with Christ. I understand that there remain sociological and historical realities but in Christ there are no “Barbarian Christians” or “Greek Christians” or “Jewish Christians.” In Christ we have a new identity. This is why Paul’s appeal to baptism here is so powerful. It is a ritual death, just as circumcision was a ritual death. In baptism we were outwardly identified with Christ’s death. In death one’s ethnic heritage is superseded by a greater fact: one is dead. A corpse had an ethnic identity but death changed all that. In death we all become what we were to begin with: dust. There is no Greek dust or Scythian dust or Jewish dust. There is just dust. So, in baptism, outwardly, all that distinguished us from one another is made of no account and those who (sola gratia) believe, and who (sola fide) have apprehended by faith alone Christ and in him all that baptism signifies, have been given a new identity. They have been included into a new, multi-ethnic, multi-national society, the visible church.

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Good Hope is a Hope That is Drawn From Scripture

J.C. Ryle:

It is not enough to have good feelings about the state of our souls. We may flatter ourselves that all is right, and that we are going to heaven when we die, and yet have nothing to show for our expectations but mere fancy and imagination. ‘The heart is deceitful above all things.’–‘He that trusted in his own heart is a fool‘ (Jer. 17:9, Proverbs 28:26).

I have frequently heard dying people say that ‘they felt quite happy and ready to go.’ I have heard them say that ‘they felt as if they craved nothing in this world.’ And all this time I have remarked that they were profoundly ignorant of Scripture, and seemed unable to lay firm hold on a single truth of the Gospel! I never can feel comfort about such people. I am persuaded that there is something wrong in their condition. Good feelings without some warrant of Scripture do not make up a good hope.