All I Have is Christ

April 26, 2013 10:50 pm

 

Currently Reading:

What is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission

by Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert

Category: Christian Ministry

Crossway, 2011

 

 

 

I discovered Sovereign Grace music for the first time last year. Since then, it has been a pleasure to listen to this band. They are kind of like Hillsong, but their music is a little more theologically rich and Christ-centered (as all good Christian music should be). This is one of their most popular songs called All I Have in Christ:

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Be Thou My Vision

April 22, 2013 1:43 am

 

Currently Reading:

Clean: A Proven Plan for Men Committed to Sexual Integrity

by Douglas Weiss, PhD

Category: Christian Living

Thomas Nelson, 2013

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite old time hymns. I think I might choose this one as my ordination song next year:

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Prayer List for the Week

April 12, 2013 4:30 am

 

Currently Reading:

Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist

by John Piper

Category: Christian Living

Multnomah Books, Revised Edition, 2011

 

 

 

 

This week, let us pray for the salvation of these three celebrities:

1. Amanda Bynes

2. Matthew McConaughey

3.Vanessa Hudgens

Reaching the End of Year One

April 10, 2013 12:44 am

 

Currently Reading:

The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent: An Informed Response to Islam’s War with Christianity

by Erwin W. Lutzer

Category: General Interest / Christian Living

Harvest House, 2013

 

 

 

I have about four weeks left until the end of the Spring Semester at The Master’s Seminary. I can’t believe a year has already almost gone by. Already, I have learned much, experienced much, and come to see the realistic demands of ministry and the blessedness of involvement in it. I couldn’t ask for a better place to study Scripture than at an institution that really honors God’s Word and rightly upholds it as inerrant, infallible, and inspired. God bless the seminary and its faculty who are all dedicated to preaching Scripture in the midst of terrible times of assault on Christ and the Gospel truth.

Meditate on These Things

April 5, 2013 5:18 pm

 

Currently Reading:

The Gospel & Personal Evangelism

by Mark Dever

Category: Evangelism

Crossway, 2007

 

 

 

 

For the last week, I’ve been reflecting on a very lovely, and applicable, verse from Scripture, which is Philippians 4:8:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute; if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (NASB). 

I never reflected on the importance of this verse until last week, since it rightly informs Christians on the proper, biblical worldview as it relates everything in life. It should relate to which movies we are to watch (if any), what type of music we are to listen to, what kind of conversations we are to have, etc. In case anybody is curious, this is the reason why I don’t really watch too many movies anymore or hear too much secular music. These are time absorbing entertainment, but it seems like most of them are pretty much ridden with the filth of violence, sex, materialism, and hedonism, all of which do no good to a Christian trying to seriously pursue holiness and all the benefits of sanctification. 

I seriously challenge believers out there to really read and understand Philippians 4:8, and allow this verse to be the heartbeat to everything they do in life: what they see, what they hear, what they are involved in, what they talk about, what they think about, etc. You will really see how much joy this verse will give you and it will really change your life for the better, especially if you are pursuing Christlikeness. 

Book Review: The Truth of the Cross by R.C. Sproul

April 4, 2013 3:13 am

 

Currently Reading:

Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God

by J.I. Packer

Category: Evangelism / Theology

Intervarsity Press, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

OFFICIAL BOOK REVIEW

The Truth of the Cross is a simple little book that explains the meaning and significance of the cross, and in essence, the gospel message. Not only is the gospel misunderstood and constantly under attack by the non-believing world, but also within the evangelical camp by liberal theologians and heretical teachers. That is why a clear cut explanation of the cross and its relevance to our lives is of utmost importance, and makes this book a welcome edition into the line of current Christian literature. To seekers, this book will be a great introduction, and somewhat of an extended gospel tract, on the meaning of the cross and the general gospel message. For believers, it will be a good reminder on the foundations of the Christian faith and rightly informs us how to understand the cross and explain it to others.

 The book is broken up into 11 chapters, with the first chapter explaining the challenges to the message of the cross throughout church history, leading to the split views of Augustinian, Semi-Pelagian, and Pelagian stance concerning who God is and who man is. The book then explains the character of God in His justice (how He must punish sin), the debt and depravity of humanity, and the solution of justice satisfied, as well as a clear cut explanation of the cross. Every important doctrine from forensic justification to imputed righteousness is elucidated and made clear, which makes Sproul’s gospel presentation very thorough and clear cut.

 In all, I highly recommend this book, especially to people who may not understand what the gospel is, whether unregenerate believers or seekers of the Christian faith. It is a rather small but meaty book that will cause you to ponder the significance of the cross and why it is more important to one’s life that one expects. Eternity is at stake, which is why its message is so needed in this day and age.

 Note: I received this book as a review copy from Reformation Trust Publishing. I was not obligated to write a good review, but only my honest opinion. 

Response to Starbucks Controversy

April 3, 2013 4:24 am

 

Currently Reading:

The Truth of the Cross

by R.C. Sproul

Category: Soteriology

Reformation Trust Publishing, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

Many of you are probably well aware of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz taking his personal support of gay marriage and having it represent the entire conglomerate company that is Starbucks, even going so far as implying the message that if one “supports traditional marriage, then we [Starbucks] don’t want your business.” This is an incredibly bold, if not intolerant, message towards people who abide by the stance of honoring a human institution that has existed since the beginning of time and was ordained by the Lord God Himself in Genesis 5:2, and has only now in the past century gone awry because of the liberalism that has permeated Western civilization. 

I’m not going to rehash arguments about whether homosexual acts is a sin or not. Romans 1:26-27, 1 Cor 6:9-10, and Leviticus 18:22 already makes that clear. The real question here is whether or not boycotting Starbucks is the right thing to do for those who are convicted of God’s law concerning relationships and marriages. The boycott group is called Dump Starbucks: www.dumpstarbucks.com, a cause that may catch on like wildfire worldwide during the course of the year. Starbucks must remember that this is not just a homosexuals vs. Christian thing. Starbucks invades every city on the planet, and there are countless countries, such as Muslim nations and communist countries like China and Russia, who are vehemently against same-sex marriage, and they probably will not have the same patience in dealing with the situation that Christians would (since Christ commands us to love even our enemies and persecutors, which includes people struggling with homosexuality). 

I signed on for the pledge, and I encourage anyone with similar convictions to not be afraid of peer-pressure by the liberal world and sign on as well. The more money you pour into Starbucks products, the more you will fund the success and power of this company, especially if its dominant priority is to encourage practice and acceptance of something that the Lord forbids throughout the Old and New Testament.

The truth is that we were all born with a sin nature: some “born” to inescapable hatred, some “born” to lusting for family members, children, or multiple women, some “born” to covetousness and jealousy. There is no such thing in God’s eyes as “equality” to perpetrate sins. If God truly gave us all justice, then we should have no “right” to marry at all. We should all technically be in hell right now, including all heterosexuals who commit abominable acts such as adultery, fornication, lies, theft, etc. 

However, that is why the gospel is for all humanity, regardless of background. Jesus Christ, the God-Man, died on the cross as our substitute, taking our death sentence that we deserved upon Himself. All sins were nailed onto Christ: all heterosexual and homosexual sins, lying, idolatry, murder, swindling, covetousness, etc. In turn, Jesus’ perfect life (His righteousness) can be imputed to our account in return as a gift if we trust in Jesus Christ alone as our Lord and Savior. If we plead guilty to our sins, repent, and take a legal pardon based on the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross, then we will be acquitted of our sins, pronounced innocent, and have eternal life with God in heaven. Upon repentance and faith which leads to justification, we will be given a new life and a new heart which God the Holy Spirit will empower so we can be able to lead a holy life before God. That is the only way both heterosexuals and homosexuals can be cleansed and changed before God: is through the regeneration which God applies to a sinner’s heart when he is saved after trusting in Christ as Lord and Savior.

As much as I encourage you to join the Dump Starbucks movement, I don’t encourage total disassociation with the people of Starbucks. They still need to be contacted in love so that they can be evangelized and led to saving faith in Christ. Whether this means working there, sitting in stores for evangelism conversations, or other approaches, Starbucks still needs a shining testimony from Christians who can reach out to them with the truth of the cross, but at the same time hold firm to biblical convictions and support truth versus sin and error. 

May the Lord guide you in this witnessing endeavor.