Spirit and Truth

Last Sunday’s sermon, based on Psalm 119, was that our response to the Word of God should be exultation and praise. You can listen to it by clicking here or using the control below:

http://www.box.net/shared/odilyhtq0b (Inline audio player not working? Download the file here.)
169 Tav. Let my cry come before You, O LORD;
Give me understanding according to Your word.
170 Let my supplication come before You;
Deliver me according to Your word.
171 Let my lips utter praise,
For You teach me Your statutes.
172 Let my tongue sing of Your word,
For all Your commandments are righteousness.
173 Let Your hand be ready to help me,
For I have chosen Your precepts.
174 I long for Your salvation,
O LORD, And Your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live that it may praise You,
And let Your ordinances help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
seek Your servant,
For I do not forget Your commandments.

Want to hear the verse in context? Psalms 107 – 121
What is this about?

If you’ve never listened to them before or haven’t heard of them there’re two preachers I’d like to introduce you to who’ve preached on this topic, John Piper and John MacArthur. If you’re into great exegesis and very cerebral type sermons then John MacArthur is for you. You can download his sermons from http://www.gty.org.

John Piper is actually a bit different from me Theologically but he has a great delivery style and is very acurate on what matters, The Gospel! You can download his sermons from http://www.desiringgod.org.

Try these sermons for a start:

John Macarthur
The Kind of Worship God Desires, Part 1 (Selected Scriptures)
The Kind of Worship God Desires, Part 2 (Selected Scriptures)
The Kind of Worship God Desires, Part 3 (Selected Scriptures)
The Kind of Worship God Desires, Part 4 (Selected Scriptures)
The Kind of Worship God Desires, Part 5 (Selected Scriptures)

John Piper
All of Life as Worship (Romans 12:1 – 2)

John Fullerton MacArthur

John Fullerton MacArthur, Jr. (born June 19, 1939 in Los Angeles, California) is a United States evangelical writer and minister, noted for his radio program entitled Grace to You. MacArthur is a fifth-generation pastor, a popular author and conference speaker, and has served as the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California since 1969, and as the President of The Master’s College (and the related The Master’s Seminary) in Santa Clarita, California.

Theologically, MacArthur is a conservative Baptist, a strong proponent of expository preaching, a dispensationalist and a self-described Calvinist. He has been acknowledged by Christianity Today as one of the most influential preachers of his time, and is a frequent guest on Larry King Live as representative of an evangelical Christian perspective.

MacArthur has authored or edited more than 150 books, most notably the MacArthur Study Bible, which has sold more than 1 million copies and received a Gold Medallion Book Award. Other best-selling books include his MacArthur New Testament Commentary Series (more than 1 million copies), Twelve Ordinary Men, (more than 500,000 copies), and the children’s book A Faith to Grow On, which garnered an ECPA Christian Book Award.

REZOLUTION Weekend Conference John Piper Pretoria South Africa Antioch Bible Church Grace Fellowship

John Piper is the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, where he first sensed God’s call to enter the ministry. He went on to earn degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary (B.D.) and the University of Munich (D.theol.). For six years he taught Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and in 1980 accepted the call to serve as pastor at Bethlehem. John is the author of more than 30 books and more than 25 years of his preaching and teaching is available free at desiringGod.org. John and his wife, Noel, have four sons, one daughter, and an increasing number of grandchildren.


The blogosphere as a battleground for the truth (Part 4 of 4)

<— Click here for Part 3
false teachers apostate blasphemy Jude Ioudas warning

False teachers are everywhere nowadays. This is part of a series revolving around a review of Ioudas’ book. Click image to enlarge.

This is tightly connected to last week’s blog posts.

Jude desired to write a letter concerning salvation but was compelled instead to pen an epistle rebutting the apostasy which was rife in the early church. In it he describes false teachers, articulates their impending judgment and cautions of the dangers that they represent. After reading it one might be left thinking, “With these guys being so bad surely I’d best avoid them?”

Jude responds, “No!” In fact he goes even further than that and exhorts us to, “contend earnestly for the faith.”

I think it’s fair to say, as far as Christian trends go, ‘tolerance’ is the new black and any ‘contending’ is seriously last season, out of vogue, no longer fashionable. Christian doctrine, orthodox theology and Biblical truth have been sacrificed on the altar of cultural relevance and any defense of them comes off looking fascist. The modern Christianese mantra is, “Never challenge, Never exhort, Never correct and Never ever offend!”

The blogosphere however offers us the opportunity to break the shackles of sluggishness because by nature it encourages us to present our thoughts and ideas on issues to the public domain and then solicit a response. This bold new approach in interactivity results in one of three responses from Christian bloggers (hat tip Walter Cannon):

Fright: Frozen, unable to choose left or right, flight or fight. Neutrality is the default stance of most Christians on any issue of faith. Maybe as a whole we’ve become incapably equipped and so cannot enter into debate being inadequately prepared for any kind of hand to hand combat that might ensue.

And so the majority never comments for or against issues in front of them, philosophically appeasing themselves by hiding behind the facade of brotherly love. In Biblical terms the word “lukewarm” and the phrase, “I will spit you out of My mouth,” spring to mind.

Flight: Rather than rise to the challenge of a heretical statement or erroneous post people will quickly move off the blog or only ever browse blogs of authors that they know to be universally acceptable to their denomination or doctrinal slant (people from my ilk might stick to gty or desiringGod).

Safely cocooned in the comfort of familiarity some bloggers have ideological blinkers on ignoring the savage storm of false teaching that rages around them. Ostriches with their heads buried deeply into the sand.

Fight: Battle worn saints of God “contend earnestly for the faith”. All Christians have been divinely charged and commissioned to, “take up the full armor of God” and equip themselves with, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. The battle is fierce and savage but the victory is certainly guaranteed because our Captain cannot be overwhelmed or defeated. Listen to Jude’s own words,

Want to hear the verse in context? Jude
What is this about?

<— Click here for Part 3

The battle isn’t clean but a messy mire of muck. For some examples of online “contending” check out the fruitful discussion here and the fruitless discuss here.

For a list of people who are blogging in the South African Christian community click here.