Wednesday, November 24, 2010

THANKSGIVING: God is Good! Most of the Time?

If we even dare to call ourselves believers in God and His Holy Word then we don't really have "much" we should be thankful for! Rather, if we understand the Gospel rightly, we see we MUST respond to God with thanksgiving for EVERYTHING, good or bad, rich or poor, sick or healthy! Will we continue to break the commandment of God's Word or will we, in EVERYTHING, give thanks? (I Thess 5:18) Please read the exerpt below from Carl Haak's 2002 article entitled "The Great Thanksgiving".

"You would think that today when we, as children of God, have so much it would be easy to be thankful; and in days of depression and want it would be very hard to show gratitude to God. But that is not the way it works. 

For the people of God, it is easier to give thanks to the Lord for His mercy in days of hardship and tribulations than in the days of plenty and prosperity, because in the days of prosperity we forget the Lord and our hearts find it hard to be thankful. 

Instead, our hearts become covetous and greedy. We simply have an abundance. We are clothed and warm. And we await a large meal on Thanksgiving Day. And we have so much more than what we need. Our way of life is very comfortable.

Thanksgiving, you see, is not centered in the thing. True thanksgiving is centered in God for giving those things - good and bad - out of a purpose for the salvation of our soul in Jesus Christ. God uses all things, all the time, for our eternal spiritual good in Jesus Christ. There you have the secret of true thanksgiving.

It is this true thanksgiving which is so beautifully expressed in Psalm 118:1, "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever." That is true thanksgiving. It is to thank God for His goodness and for His unfailing mercy toward us.

It is all by grace, you see. We are sinners. What do we deserve of God except eternal damnation. But He has given His Son, freely, of grace, and chosen us to be in Christ Jesus, promised us to work all things for our eternal well-being. Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.

But if you are not convinced, then listen to this: "for His mercy endureth for ever." Ah, there we see a reason to give thanks to God. This is the reason for true thanksgiving: His mercy endureth for ever. Note that carefully!

Now, do not say that superficially. Say that from your heart. Yes, sometimes through tears and sometimes through struggles. But the Lord is good. You see, thanksgiving is a wonderwork of grace in our hearts. 

Thanksgiving is when a believing husband looks upon the coffin of his dear wife, shocked with the reality of death, and yet says, "The Lord is good."

Thanksgiving is when a mother gives birth to a stillborn child in a hospital filled with mothers who have many healthy babies and says, "The Lord is good."

Thanksgiving is when a father receives notice that his job is terminated, his income is lost. Yet, the Lord is good.

Thanksgiving is when the aged grow senile and they do not remember their children or their wife's name and they wither away. Yet, in their soul, they say, "The Lord is good."

Beloved, the Lord is good. He is always good to His people through His grace in Jesus Christ. Through all things He accomplishes a glorious salvation in Christ. Are you filled with thanksgiving today? Give Him thanks. If you are healthy and your family is about you and all is well, the Lord is good. Are you alone? Are you sick? Are you troubled? Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. Say it from your heart: "Thou art good to me, Lord."~


Sunday, November 21, 2010

JOEL OSTEEN: Your best parking space now.

John MacArthur lays down the truth about Joel Osteen. Don't hate me for posting this unless you simply believe we should just allow a universalist, word-faith, false teacher to continue to deceive millions of people and turn them AWAY from and AGAINST Jesus Christ! Joel Osteen is one of the most dangerous of today's false teachers because of his quiet, happy demeanor. Yet, scripture plainly shows he should be avoided. Here's John MacArthur giving some prime examples. If you can still think Joel Osteen is a preacher of truth after these few examples, PLEASE tell me why in the comments. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks to for the nice editing job.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

RIGHTEOUSNESS: Unbreaking a law & Uncracking a bowl.

My family used to have an antiques shop. I recall one particular purchase of art pottery that was exceedingly rare. It was two highly sought-after hand-painted bowls in a rare color from a well known artist and they were in pristine condition. The pieces were about a hundred years old at the time and were one-of a kind pieces. Each piece was hand made and unique. To have two of these pieces together was amazing. Together they were worth around $5000. Anyway, we purchased them and to shorten a long story there was an accident. One of the pieces was chipped and the other was cracked. You could barely see the damage but the small chip and crack that was hardly noticeable reduced the value of the bowls to next to nothing. Perfection is rare. And to ruin it is sad, sickening, and irreversible.

God is perfect. His Law is perfect. He commands us to be perfect and the Bible says if we've broken one of His commandments we've broken them all. THAT'S why the righteousness of Jesus, the perfect man (God himself in human flesh) must be APPLIED, IMPUTED or CREDITED TO OUR ACCOUNT. We didn't just chip or even crack God's perfect Law once or twice... we handled it carelessly, purposefully trampled it, shattered it, and destroyed it, over and over again.

But even if we were really "good", lived a nearly perfect life and our only sin was telling one little "white lie", we still broke His Law and ruined our chance at the perfection God demands. We must be counted as "perfect" to be saved but we've got no hope for that.

Even if you don't know the big words, can't clearly defend the points, or are not sure what the Bible says on the subject, or where it says it, a right understanding of our justification by faith and imputed righteousness is a necessary prerequisite to salvation.

To God, our "Righteousness" is the rich and satisfactory perfection of Jesus applied to our bankrupt account.

One simply can not be saved unless he understands that (a) because of his personal, purposeful sin, he is not only not right with God, but he is God's enemy, that (b) in order to be saved he must be "made right" with God, that (c) he can bring nothing to the table to help his case and (d) Jesus is his only hope for righteousness, life and salvation. God graciously has built a guilty conscience into all of us. We are commanded to hear the truth and to turn in a repentance of godly sorrow toward the Holy Spirit drawing us to salvation.

No doubt about it, God demands PERFECTION from us, or we WILL NOT be saved!

Phil Johnson says:

"...if you affirm the principle of imputed righteousness, then you are almost certainly going to affirm the deity of Christ. Because the imputation of righteousness requires a perfect Substitute, with perfect righteousness—as perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect. The only Substitute who qualifies is a Christ who is also God. So the necessity of Christ's deity is practically built right into a sound understanding of justification by faith."~

Horatius Bonar said:
"We are treated by God as if (Jesus' perfection, sinlessness and righteousness) were actually (ours). In (Jesus') name we carry on all our transactions with God, and obtain all that we need by simply using it as our plea. The things that (Jesus) did not do were laid to His charge, and He was treated as if He had done them all; so the things that He did do are put to our account, and we are treated by God as if we had done them all. This is the scriptural meaning of reckoning or imputing, both in the Old Testament and the New.

For instance:
Genesis 15:6: "It was imputed to him for righteousness;" (i.e. it was so reckoned to him, that in virtue of it he was treated as being what he was not.) 

Genesis 31:15: "Are we not counted of him strangers?" Are we not treated by him as if we were strangers, not children?

Leviticus 7:18: "Neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it." (The excellence of the peace-offering shall not be counted to him.)

Numbers 18:27: "Your heave-offering shall be reckoned unto you as though it were the corn of the threshing-floor." (It shall be accepted by God as if it were the whole harvest, and ye shall be treated by Him accordingly.)

Romans 4:3: "It was counted to him for righteousness."

Romans 4:5: "His faith is counted for righteousness" (i.e., not as the righteousness, or as the substitution for it, but as bringing him into righteousness."

Romans 4:6: "Unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works."

Romans 4:8: "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin."

Romans 4:11: "That righteousness might be imputed to them also."

Romans 4:24: "To whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him whom raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead."

2 Corinthians 5:19: "Not imputing their trespasses unto them."

Galatians 3:6: "It was accounted to him for righteousness."

Thus the idea of reckoning to one what does not belong to him, and treating him as if he really possessed all that is reckoned to him, comes out very clearly. This is God's way of lifting man out of the horrible pit and the miry clay; of giving him a standing and a privilege and a hope far beyond that which mere pardon gives...

"It is God that justifies"; and He does so by imputing to us a righteousness which warrants Him as the Judge to justify the unrighteous freely. It is not simply because of this righteousness that Jehovah justifies; but by legally transferring it to us, so that we can use it, and plead it, and appear before God in it, just as if it were wholly our own. ~

Jesus never broke the Law. We did. Jesus didn't deserve the crucifixion. We did. Jesus submitted Himself to the Law but remained perfect... he never broke any part of it. Once we break it, we can't un-break any of God's commandments any more than we could un-crack a bowl!

Salvation is simply trusting that Jesus' perfection (when applied to us) is enough to satisfy the demands of our perfect, righteous, just & loving God that a PERFECT sacrifice must be made for our ongoing sins. Jesus sits (his work is finished) at the right hand of the father as proof that God was satisfied. We, too, should be satisfied. Jesus never "cracked". When He said "It is finished"... that was all we needed to now be able to rest knowing His perfection is satisfactorily applied to our account!