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Recent Posts
Romans 13 Sermon
by Tom - Fri Nov 26, 2021 11:53 PM
Exclusive Fare
by NetChaplain - Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:41 PM
The Returning Backslider ~ Octavious Winslow
by Pilgrim - Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:24 AM
True Deliverance
by NetChaplain - Fri Nov 19, 2021 4:54 PM
Calvin and the image of God
by Tom - Mon Nov 15, 2021 1:37 PM
My trusted Bible has an error in it
by Tom - Sat Nov 13, 2021 9:45 PM
Romans 13 Sermon Tom Fri Nov 26, 2021 1:29 AM I would be interested in getting some opinions on the following sermon.

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Exclusive Fare NetChaplain Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:41 PM The worldling cannot understand how the growing believer lives. Both his life and that which sustains it lie entirely beyond the range of nature’s keenest vision. The Lord Jesus Christ is his life, and in Him he lives. He feels by faith, upon the powerful attractions of One who, though being “God over all, blessed forever,” “took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Rom 9:5; Phl 2:7).

He traces Him from the bosom of the Father to the Cross, and from the Cross to the throne, and finds Him, in every stage of His journey, and in every attitude of His life, to be most precious food for his new man. All round, though, in fact, Egypt (a type of this world and “the old man”—NC) is morally a waste howling wilderness, affording nothing for the renewed mine. And just in proportion as the believer finds any material to feed upon therein must his spiritual man be hindered in his progress. The provision which the Father has made is the heavenly Manna, and on this the growing believer must feed (Jhn 6:51).

It is one thing to know that we have life in the Lord Jesus, together with full forgiveness and acceptance before the Father (permanently is the only way to understand this—NC), and it is quite another to be in continual fellowship with Him—feeding upon Him by faith—making Him the exclusive food for our souls. Very many profess to have found pardon and peace in the Lord Jesus, who, in reality, are feeding upon a variety of things which have no connection with Him whatsoever. The activities of the mew life will ever show themselves in connection with the Cross-subjection of “the old man and his deeds” (Col 3:9); and the more that is accomplished, the more will we desire to feed upon the Bread which strengthens man’s heart. As in nature, the more we exercise, the better the appetite; so in grace, the more our new life is called into activity, the more we feel the need of feeding each day, upon the Lord Jesus in glory (Psa 46:1).

If an Israelite neglected to gather, in the freshness of the morning hour, his daily portion of the divinely appointed food, he would speedily have become lacking in strength for his journey. Thus it is with us. We must make the Lord Jesus the paramount Object of our soul’s attention, else our spiritual life will inevitably decline (remain a “babe in Christ”—NC). We cannot even feed upon feelings and experiences connected with Him, for inasmuch as they are fluctuating and cannot form our spiritual nourishment. It was the Lord Jesus yesterday, and it must be Him today, and Him forever. Moreover, it will not do to feed partly on Him and partly on other things. As in the matter of Life it is the Lord Jesus alone, so in the matter of growth it must be Him alone. As we cannot mingle anything with that which imparts life, so neither can we mingle anything with that which sustains it.

We should ever remember that Christianity is not a set of opinions, a system of dogmas, or a number of views; it is preeminently a living reality—a personal, practical, powerful thing, telling itself out in the scenes and circumstances of daily life, shedding its hallowed influence over the entire character and course, and imparting its heavenly tone to every relationship; which one may be called of God to fill. In a word, it is that which flows from being associated and occupied with the Lord Jesus in heaven. This is Christianity—a Person. There may be clear views, correct notions, sound principles, without any fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ (one can have the Spirit but not walk after Him - Gal 5:25); but an orthodox creed without communion with Him will prove a cold and barren thing.

—C H Mackintosh

MJS online devotional excerpt:

The believer in the midst of processing, is progressing.

“If spiritual thirst is the language of your heart, there is great blessing in store for you. When believers are being turned upside-down and inside-out they are apt to be much discouraged, and to have their souls ‘disquieted’ within them. But even amid the exercise the Father would give us the encouragement of knowing that He has taken us up to bring us into inconceivable blessing.

“We must travel through these processings, for the simple reason that if the Lord Jesus is to be everything, the old man must be nothing, and it is often times a long journey to reach this point in the history of the soul. Hence the long, dreary, and painful years of ‘self-occupation’ through which most believers drag their slow steps of spiritual progress.” -C.A.C.
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The Returning Backslider ~ Octavious Winslow Rick Bates Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:22 PM "Yet return again to Me, says the Lord."--Jer. 3:1

Could there be a more touching "Thus says the Lord" than this? The voice of Jesus, as it echoed over the mountains and along the valleys of our unregenerate distance from God, seeking and finding and bringing us home, was inexpressibly sweet and irresistibly gracious. But, to hear that same voice, after our many wanderings, our repeated relapses, our sad backslidings, still seeking, still inviting, still imploring us to return, though we had "played the harlot with many lovers," oh, there is music in that voice such as the heavenly minstrelsy must bend their ear to catch.

My soul, you are "bent upon backsliding, even as a backsliding heifer." Your heart is as a broken bow, treacherous to the arrow fixed upon the string, and ready for its flight. Your purposes of good formed, but thwarted; resolutions of amendment made, but broken; plans of usefulness laid, but frustrated; prayers for grace offered, but forgotten; desires and aspirations after God sent up, but, through a deceitful and wicked heart, dissolving into air. Oh! how many and aggravated have your backslidings from God been--backslidings in heart, backslidings in deed--secret wanderings, open wanderings. You have "left your first love," have "forgotten your resting-place;" and, straying from the cross, have gone back to walk no more with Jesus. Truly, your "heart is like a deceitful bow."

But, has the Lord, by some gentle movement of His grace, or by some solemn event of His providence, aroused, overtaken, arrested you? Has He set a hedge around your path, that you could not find your lovers, bringing you to reflection, to penitence, to prayer? Then, listen, O my soul, to the gracious words of your "first husband;" "Yet return again to Me, says the Lord."

Spiritual restoration implies a spiritual re-conversion. In this sense we are to interpret our Lord's words to His fallen apostle Peter--"When you are converted, strengthen your brethren,"--that is, when you are restored, recovered, turned back again, employ your restored grace, the experience you have derived, and the lessons you have learned by your fall and recovery, in strengthening your weak brethren--in warning and exhorting, in restoring and comforting those who have been alike tempted, and have alike fallen.

There is something very expressive, tender, and touching in the word--"Again." "Yet return again." It sounds like the "forgiveness of seventy times seven." Lord! I have wandered from You times without number--"Yet return again." Lord! I have so often sinned and repented--"Yet return again." Lord! You have received and forgiven me more than seventy times seven--"Yet return again." Lord! I come confessing the same sins, deploring the same backslidings, acknowledging the same self-will and base ingratitude--"Yet return again to me, says the Lord." Then, Lord! I come with weeping, and mourning, and confession, since Your tenderness, grace, and changeless love, and outstretched hand bid me.

"Return to Me." My soul, rest not until you rest in Jesus. Let nothing come between your returning heart and your advancing, loving, forgiving Father. There is no true return of a backsliding believer but that which takes him past his repentance, past his tears, past his confessions, past his amendments, past his minister, and brings him at once close to Christ. There is no healing of the hurt, no binding up of the wound, no cleansing, no peace, no comfort, no joy, but as the soul comes to the blood, and nestles once more within the very heart of Jesus. "Return unto ME."
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True Deliverance NetChaplain Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:54 PM There is only a onetime deliverance from sin’s guilt and condemnation, but an on-going promised deliverance from sin’s “dominion” (Ro 6:14); in which dominion is the fact that one wills to follow sin with disregard unto God’s holiness and righteousness. Nobody realizes and understands the “law of sin” (Rom 7:23) that dwells within (Ro 7:17, 20) until it is manifested to the soul in rebirth! Just the issue of Paul’s discourse on the dichotomy of the old and new natures clearly describes one reborn, otherwise there would be only one nature.

It is found that though this “law of sin” (Rom 7:23, 25; 8:2) or principle ever remains, the “treasure” of the “heart” (Mat 6:21) from now on is “to will and do of His good pleasure” (Phl 2:13). The believer no longer “presumptuously” serves (Num 15:30; Heb 10:29) sin, but contrariwise, is as an unwilling “captive” (Ro 7:23), which denotes the “service” is against the will.

Because the “flesh” remains (not the body but the sin nature or “old man”), it will affect us; and there will be constant protest of the reborn against it all (Rom 7:25)—via the ever indwelling of the new nature or “the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph 2:15); “after the image of Him that created him (it)” (Col 3:10). Therefore, the freedom from the dominion of sin is not in the eradication of it, nor from its workings, but in the given grace of the will in our new nature against it, which is the permanent place of what God desires concerning His own—our heart and treasure!

True Deliverance

“Oh, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death” (i.e. “body of sin” - Ro 6:6, the old man and its “members” - Col 3:5—NC)? Poor wretched man! But (immense advantage) he knows it; he knows himself. Desires and efforts to do right have resulted in this—in the knowledge of himself and his real state: in him, that is, in his flesh, there is no good thing. But it is not (now that he is quickened of God) himself at all.

But this makes out no righteousness for him, no deliverance from the power of sin; he is still under it, being under law (i.e. yet under the law or principle of sin, which is its works against the believer, without effect to redemption—NC). It is an immense lesson to learn that we have no power (from self—NC). Thus taught, the man ceases to look to being better, or to doing (on his own power—NC); he has learned what he is, and looks for a Deliverer. The moment God has brought him there, all is clear. He thanks God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Though the subject treated be the experience of the soul under law (a principle—NC) when its spirituality is known through grace, the thing learned is not what law is, but what sin is—what we are (in our old man—NC). Hence, though the process be carried on under law (not the Law but a continuing principle, or tempting—NC), by which through the secret working of grace that knowledge is acquired, yet the thing we have come to know—what sin is in the flesh, is always true (old man works while we’re here—NC).

Hence, although it is the description of a soul under law, yet it is in a way in which the lesson remains for the believer at all times (e.g. Ro 7:14-25). Not that he is ever under law, or in the flesh—he never is (Gal 5:23; Ro 8:9): he has died as connected with the first husband, and for faith the flesh is dead (not its presence but its condemnation and dominion—NC), and he is delivered; but the lesson he has learned remains true. In him, that is, in his flesh, dwells no good thing; and it is experientially known. The flesh may deceive him if he is careless, and he forgets and neglects to “bear about in his body the dying of the Lord Jesus” (2Co 4:10); but it can no longer deceive him as to what it is itself. The power of the flesh is, for him, broken.

And further, he has no thought of being in the flesh before God. The Galatians shows his position. The flesh (old man) lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under law (Gal 5:17, 18). You are free with the liberty “wherewith Christ has set you free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal 5:1).

There is such a tendency in us to be occupied with ourselves, and really set up self in God’s place, that He uses these exercises to make us thoroughly glad to have done with ourselves (concerning how we are to respond to the old man - Eph 4:22; Col 3:9—NC). Thus we put ourselves under law, though born of God, which only leads us to cry out, “Oh wretched man that I am!” for it is only man and his efforts after good, not Christ. We have to learn that we are powerless, after owning and hating our wickedness (Psa 97:10; Pro 8:13; Ro 12:9—NC), and thus we are compelled to cry out, “Who shall deliver me?”

One looks for another to deliver him. It is not that self (old self—NC) gets better, but a deliverance from the old man we need, and God gives it (not deliverance from its guilt which is permanent at rebirth, but from its ongoing attempts to “rule” and regain its “dominion” – Ro 6:12, 14—NC). This may be soon, or not for a long time; but when one is thus brought to his true level (“irrevocable” redemption - Rom 11:29—NC), the Father in grace comes in, and brings out thanksgiving (due to reminding and assuring us that we are His – Ro 8:16—NC), “I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.”

Strength follows when we find that we have none ourselves, not by gaining victory over self. Powerlessness is learned experientially, which leads to our having done with ourselves (old self—NC) and looking to the Lord Jesus for deliverance (from the old man’s opposition—NC). And we find that by grace we are in Christ, where there is no condemnation. On the one hand the law of the Spirit of life in Christ has freed us; on the other God has already executed the sentence of condemnation of sin in the flesh in the Cross of Christ. We are delivered to walk according to the Spirit (Gal 5:16, 25).

—J N Darby (1800-1882)
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Calvin and the image of God Tom Mon Nov 15, 2021 4:19 AM I recently came across an interesting conversation involving John Calvin, specifically related to RC Sproul who someone accused of disagreeing with the doctrine of 'Total Depravity' and therefore not worthy to be considered "Reformed".

According to this particular person, he believes that Scripture says that man lost the image of God at the fall, and that the Reformed doctrine of 'Totally Depravity' is related to this.
He also claimed that the that Reformers such as Calvin and other Reformers believed what he said as well.

Understand here, I have never heard anyone of Reformed persuasion or Calvinist persuasion say anything like that. In fact recently, I listened to several Reformed theologians speak against the Woke and one of arguments they used is that there is only one race and that is the human race. All were created in the image of God; racism is a sin against God, who created man in the image of God.

The person gave several John Calvin quotes to prove his point. Including the following.

“Hence followed the obliteration of the image of God in man, who became unbelieving, unrighteous, liable to death.”
(John Calvin, Aphorisms book 2 # 17)

I suspect, I am not understanding Calvin here.

My understanding and indeed RC Sproul and many others of Reformed persuasion believes despite the fall, mankind retained the "image of God". Though the image of God was marred because of the fall.


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