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Archive for December, 2012

highway-of-the-Gospel

Here is a poem that I wrote many years ago about the importance of Gospel proclamation.  With Christmas and New Year’s Day right around the corner, I pray that the Lord will open up many doors for you to proclaim the majesty of God’s Son in a dark, twisted, and confused world.  May the light of Christ’s Word shine through dark hearts.  Soli deo gloria.

Superiority of the Gospel

The Gospel brings about worship.

Adversity comes when there is an absence of worship.

Proclaiming the Gospel is temporary,

But the worship of God is eternal.

Sing to the God who is eternal.

Superiority of Gospel starts and ends in worship.

The Gospel fuels worship.

However, the Devil’s spell of damnation,

Comes to many who enjoy the greatness of sin’s facade.

Therefore,

Evangelize the lost,

So they may enjoy the greatness of God—

Found at the cross.

At the cross,

There was a great cost.

His substitution will never be at lost.

For that, our voices rejoice

Psalm 97:1”

“The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice;

let the many islands be glad!”

Without worship,

Sin reigns in the unbeliever.

Because of sin,

The earth groans with one voice.

Because of sin,

The coast-lands are unable to rejoice.

One day,

Sin will be outlawed with God’s hot lightening rod.

Sin will be outlawed by the supreme act of God.

For that,

We praise and obey You.

Psalm 67:3-4,

“Let the peoples praise you,

O God; Let all the people praise you!

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy;

For You judge the peoples with uprightness

And guide the nations on the earth.”  Selah

But all unbelievers,

Continually disobey You rather than praise You.

They will be squashed like mayonnaise before You.

Outside of Christianity,

Judgement comes upon all cities.

God will judge all with equity.

He will judge all in the inner city;

In the political committee,

Or in the nitty-gritty.

Most people want no guide.

Their hearts and minds are filled with their undignified, sinful joy-rides.

They keep sinning with huge strides.

Selah

Gospel proclamation starts and ends in worship.  There will be tunnel vision with no precision in your Gospel proclamation if it does not begin and end in worship.  But your soul will sink like the Titanic ship that wasn’t equipped.

Many nations give world-wide,

Far and wide;

And eagle-eyed attention to celebrities like the King of Pop—

Rather than Jesus Christ who reigns nonstop.

He bought us with a price.

What other knowledge can suffice?

All other knowledge fleas away and decays away like lice.

So if you enjoy God and want others to enjoy Him—

Proclaim Him,

Like the great hymns.

Remember!

No passion for God in worship,

Equals a facade in your walk with God.

Don’t be like others who superficially applaud for God,

But are nothing but frauds that belong to the wicked squad.

Remember!

So if you enjoy God,

Commend your friends, their boy friends, and their girl friends about God.

Let them taste and see that God is good.

May the Kings of kings not be misunderstood.

Tell them to listen,

Comprehend,

And apprehend,

Jesus Christ who is better than their best friend.

Selah

Gospel proclamation starts and ends in worship.  There will be tunnel vision with no precision in your Gospel proclamation if it does not begin and end in worship.  But your soul will sink like the Titanic ship that wasn’t equipped.

Behold!

We worship an infinite great God.

Don’t worship him alone in the backseat,

Or only in church retreats,

Or sing to Him like you do with Sesame Street.

Our worship of God is not a fallacious book like Live Your Best Life Now, by Joel Osteen.

Who give messages that are obscene,

That taste bad like rotten sardine.

The Bible is not psychotherapy,

But spiritual therapy.

Behold!

We worship God with overwhelming greatness;

Who provides spiritual therapy—

To those who suffer from spiritual leprosy.

The cosmos and life are held within His decree.

Isaiah 40:25-26, “

25″To whom then will you compare me,
that I should be like him? Says the Holy One.
26Lift up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name,
by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power
not one is missing.”

Yes,

We worship the great God because no one can be compared to Him.

Therefore,

We sing hymns to Him.

We worship Him,

Because He saved us from sin’s grim.

The Holy One—

No one is like Him.

The Seraphims cry out:

“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory.”~Isaiah 6:3

The Holy One:

Jesus Christ,

Paid the ultimate price for sin,

Made a sacrifice for sin;

And He gave His life at any price for sin.

Lift up your eyes!

God is great with might and is always right.

He is also reachable and not out of sight.

Ah!

God is great!

With His promises,

He is never late;

Nor does He procrastinate.

Selah

Gospel proclamation starts and ends in worship.  There will be tunnel vision with no precision in your Gospel proclamation if it does not begin and end in worship.  But your soul will sink like the Titanic ship that wasn’t equipped.

God is the absolute that everyone must come to terms with.

Everything depends entirely in His will.

May the nations know how good our God is.

Tell them who our great God is.

Tell them God called Israel for His glory (Is. 49:3).

Tell them that God rescued Israel from Egypt for His glory (Psalm 106:7-8).

Tell them that God defeated Pharaoh at the Red Sea to show His glory (Exodus 14:4).

Tell them that God gave Israel victory in Canaan for His glory (2 Samuel 7:23).

Tell the nations God chose His people for His glory (Ephesians 1:4-6, 12, 14).

Tell them that God created us for His glory (Is. 43:6-7).

Tell them all are under judgment for dishonoring God’s glory.

Tell them that God struck Herod down dead because he did not give God glory.

Tell them that their ultimate aim should be to taste and see God’s good glory.

Tell them that God did not cast away His people because of His glory.

Tell them that Jesus endured His final hours of suffering for God’s glory (Jn. 12:27-28).

Tell them that God suffered and died for those who would believe and repent for His glory.


Poem was adapted and inspired by John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005), 17-44.

Unpublished Work © 2012 EvangelZ

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Swedish-air-house

Been pretty busy the last few days so there’s not much comment on each article this time.  These were some links I didn’t get around to put up the last time I had Presuppositional apologetics links.  Enjoy!

1.) Reason Requires God: Kant’s Transcendental Program Fails.

2.) Test of Faith.

3.) The Robbery of Neutrality.

4.) Linus or Manmas?

5.) Are We Creating a Culture of Moral Misfits?

6.) The Flat Earth Myth: The Greatest Urban Legend of History

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Her Hands in Marriage Doug Wilson

Once again Doug Wilson hits a home run with this book. Here is a work that addresses Biblical courtship in the Modern world. The book is filled with Wilson’s insight from Scripture, practical wisdom and instructional humor, and applicable for all who read this whether you are the guy, the girl or the parents involved with Christian courtship. I appreciated Wilson pointing out that courtship takes place with the authority of the daughter’s parents which is the subject of the first chapter. As I have a young daughter at this time, it’s a sobering admonition for my wife and I to consider in our daughter’s future. Here in chapter one Wilson brings some relevant Biblical passages including those from the Old Testament that I’ve never thought about it before. Chapter one alone is worth the price of the book. In the second chapter Wilson addresses the topic of preparing sons for courtship in which the big points I took away from it was to prepare sons by modeling it in the family by the father, teaching on sexual purity and being a gentleman. A plus for his insight on young men and the issue of self-control. The third chapter then focus on preparing daughters for courtship including the discussion of modesty, biblical femininity and parental protection. This is followed by two other chapters on courtship itself and a beautiful allegorical story as an appendix that hallmarks Wilson’s desire to communicate Christian truth through great literature and other literary forms. There is too many good things I’ve learned from this book to share in this review (I’ve read this work together a devotional with my wife and we highlighted so many parts of the book) but he takes the topic of courtship beyond just the guy asking the father’s permission to court his daughter. If more Christians were to read and apply this book, we would see a dramatic turn for the better of Christians and sanctification when it comes to the family and purity rather than the current recreational dating patterned after the World. Excellent work, I highly recommend it and give a five star. It’s a work I plan to re-read in the future or at least thumb through the highlighted portion.

Get this on Amazon!

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neurotechnology-mind-control-moves-into-battle-e1341615900370-637x360

Below, are a few good links surrounding a biblical worldview of psychology and mental illness.  It is vital that Christians are eqipped in this area.  In light of all the massacres during the last couple of years such as the Virginia Tech shooting and the Newtown shooting, some are trying to substitute mental illness for man’s responsibility concerning the murder of countless people.

  • Voddie Baucham, “Nebuchadnezzar Loses His Mind.”  Disclaimer: With all due respect to what Pastor Baucham stands for concerning the family and the Gospel, there is a bit of a possible disagreement.  As another brother-in-Christ named Mike mentioned concerning the earlier part of this message – it is hard to tell whether Pastor Baucham is stating that Jesus had depression at the Garden of Gethsemane or whether he was pointing out that the people who work in the mental health community would diagnose or see Jesus’ condition as being anxious in Gethsemane, depressed at Lazarus’s tomb; and then being bipolar after He raised him from the dead.  It is hard to tell if Pastor Baucham believed Jesus was depressed, but I will leave that to your discretion.  I sent the church an e-mail requesting clarification.  Until then, I will wait for a response.  But at the end of the day, I identify Jesus’ experience at the garden as suffering and grief, not depression.  Grief and depression are two separate notions.  God permits grief, but depression is a different animal and is associated with anxiety.  Depression would undermine God’s perfection and holiness.  Overall, the message was good and Pastor Baucham does a candor job in explaining the confusion amongst Christians concerning the issue of mental illness.
  • John F. MacArthur, Jr., “The Psychology Epidemic and its Cure.”  In this journal article, Pastor MacArthur discusses many important points.  One of the major concerns has to do with the Christian Church implementing psychology in order to deal with spiritual issues.  Pastor MacArthur says,

The church’s right to counsel from the Bible has been reconfirmed in court rulings of recent times. Yet in many instances the church has surrendered that right and responsibility because of the ‘professionalization’ of the counseling ministry among Christians. This is tragic because the behavioral sciences are not, as is commonly believed, scientific. Neither have they proven effective in changing the human heart. ‘Christian psychology,’ with its claim of a secret knowledge about dealing with people, has made deep inroads into the church, but it is no more than a duplication of its secular counterpart with Scripture references occasionally interspersed. A reliance on Christ, the ‘Wonderful Counsellor,’ and God’s sufficient Word as dispensed by spiritually gifted Christians to one another is the church’s only solution in meeting the spiritual needs of its people.”

  • Dr. Trevor Craigen does a book review of Dr. Ed Bulkley called, “Why Christians Can’s Trust Psychology.”  Dr. Craigen reviews this book that addresses the danger of people pursuing recovering programs such as the twelve-steps programs, self-help books, integrative practices (hybrid and Christian truth and Psychology), etc.  Dr. Craigen gives an in-dept analysis of the book.

“The highly subjective social sciences want to blame anything and everything outside of the foundational biblical truth that man’s heart is sinful. This article is God’s common grace to society that there are some who still recognize the dangerous capability of a sinful heart.” – Pastor Pakingan.

Good thing there is still some sense in the world were people are willing to call it out like it is.  Call it what it is folks! This is what Jesus said about the heart, “”For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders” (Matthew 15:19). We cannot circumvent God’s Word that authenticates to us what is right and wrong.

  • Here is a good video that discuss Psychiatrists On Psychiatry.  Interesting and important concepts such as mental illness and chemical imbalance are mentioned and whether there is proof of it existing.  Here is the link, Psychiatrists On Psychiatry.

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Equilibrist businessman

Many of us would object to having a non-medical personnel perform surgery on us.  We would object because that person is not a doctor.  That person does not have a comprehensive knowledge or the expertise concerning the human body and how to operate on a human body.   We would cry “foul” if a non-medical personnel was to operate on our body.

If one would object or discriminate against a non-medical personnel performing surgery on someone, how much more should we object to a watered-down Gospel presentation?  As Christians, we are to be like spiritual surgeons who operate carefully upon the soul of a unbeliever.  The lost are made in the “image and likeness” of God (Gen. 1:26).  Hence, as human beings and subjects created in God’s image, we should be motivated to be benevolent.  To be benevolent in this context is to provide the biblical Gospel and to proclaim the Gospel presentation holistically.  We must stray away from the false Gospel messages that are preached (Gal. 1:6-9).  To do so would not be an act of benevolence, but an act of malevolence. We need to study to show ourselves approved (2 Tim. 2:15).

Beloved, as Christians, when it comes to the Gospel, we must also not bar the Gospel because there are many lost souls that are inches away from being abandoned by God in Hell for all eternity.  At this moment, they are walking in a rotten covering or on a thin rope that will one day collapse or rip.  They are in a state of stupor and we are to be their sirens that God will use to awaken them from their sin and sentence of condemnation.

Some of you may ask, “How do I share the Gospel biblically, holistically, and effectively to these spiritually dead people.  Before I do that, I would like to first belabor the point that there are many methods on how to share, but the content of the Gospel truths are inherently the same.  For example, the death, burial, and resurrection, must be included, but most importantly, the penal substitution which is the heart of the Gospel must be catapulted.

Penal substitution is a serious doctrine that must be exalted amongst all Christians.   Penal substitution can be defined in this manner,

That the Lord Jesus Christ died for us—a shameful death, bearing our curse, enduring our pain, suffering the wrath of his own Father in our place—has been the wellspring of the hope of countless Christians throughout the ages.”[1]

This statement is referred to as “penal substitution,” “substitutionary atonement,” or “vicarious atonement.”

To separate oneself from this doctrine of penal substitution is to sever oneself from orthodoxy.  To substitute rationalism for penal substitution is to make oneself hostile before a Holy God.  Since this doctrine is the heartbeat of the Gospel, which is linked to salvation, one must preach this truth with passion and integrity.  One must not substitute rationalism, lies, or inaccuracies for the sacred and biblical understanding of penal substitution.  The cross was bloody and costly.  We must not cheapen it in order to satisfy the masses.  Without penal substitution, repentance, faith, and the submission to Christ’s Lordship would bring no hope or joy for the unbeliever.  Without penal substitution,  man is utterly hopeless.

In order to have an effective  and non-esoteric Gospel message that people would appreciate, here is what a  good Gospel presentation implements.  Some of the concepts can also be used for counseling.  Let us also remember that only the Holy Spirit can change a dead person.  We could preach clearly and skillfully, but without the Holy Spirit, that person will not change (John 3:8; Titus 3:5).

  1. The Character of God
    • Holiness:
      • Hab. 1:13-16, “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor. Why do You look with favor On those who deal treacherously? Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up Those more righteous than they?”
      • Isa. 59:2, “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
        • Ps. 11:7, “For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.”
        • Is. 5:16, “But the LORD of hosts will be exalted in judgment, And the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness.’
        • Ps. 7:11-12, “God is a righteous judge,/And a God who has indignation every day./If a man does not repent,/ He will sharpen His sword; /He has bent His bow and made it ready.
  2. The Depravity and Condemnation of Man
    • Falls short of God’s glory
      • Rom. 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
    • Man is unclean
      • Isa. 64:6, “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”
  3. The Perfect Logic of God
    • The wicked and righteous in God’s eyes.
      • Proverbs 17:15, “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous,/Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.”
      • Gen 18:25, “Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?”
  4. God’s Action:  Much has been said regarding man’s condition before God’s holiness and justice.  We will now transition to the hope for mankind: God’s love.
    • God’s love
      • 1 John 4:8-10, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
      • Rom. 3:23-26, “For allhave sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
    • The resurrection of Christ
      • Rom. 4:25, “He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”
      • 1 Cor. 15:1-8, “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.”
  5. Man Needs to Respond
    • Repentance
      • Man needs to recognize and confess his sins and submit to the Lordship of Christ
        • Psalm 51:3-4, “For I know my transgressions,/ And my sin is ever before me./Against You, You only, I have sinned/And done what is evil in Your sight,/So that You are justified when You speak/And blameless when You judge.”
      • Recognition of sin leads to a hatred of sin
        • 2 Cor. 7:10-11, “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter.”
      • Recognition and confession of sin is not the primary evidence, but one must turn from sin
        • Matthew 3:10, “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
        • Gal. 5:24, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (cf. vv. 19-23).
    • Faith
      • Faith is to trust and rely upon the promises, works of Christ, and Lordship of Christ.
        • Rom. 4:21, “And being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.”
        • John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
        • Rom. 10:9, “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Now to make this evangelism discussion somewhat applicable, three days ago, on a Sunday morning, a stranger from Florida sat in the foyer of the church.  He was asking for resources that will help him get back home to Florida.  I also asked him a few questions about his background.  I learned that the young man appeared to have a difficult life.  Apparently, he was adopted and was in and out from incarceration, had a baby out of wedlock; and made some poor decisions in life.  As I was listening to him, I couldn’t help but to continue the discussion while service was still live.  He reminded me of some of the Christian rappers like Lecrae and others who had a similar life like he did.  By God’s grace, God transferred Lecrae and some of the other Christian rappers from the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light (Col. 1:13-14).

To cut the story short, I swung the pendulum from the natural and into the spiritual.  I was now engaging spiritual warfare by discussion spiritual issues.  By God’s grace,  I was able to share the gospel message that exhibited candor.  I shared the law, the holiness of God, justice of God, and many of the other facets I mentioned earlier.

The young man was receptive the whole time.  And as the conversation continued, he told me that he is concerned about the direction of his life.  I asked him, “Will you please think about what I said today when you leave this church, and he responded by saying, “I am thinking about it right now.”  It appears that the Lord was convicting him.  He further noted that no one never shared the Gospel to him the way I did.  This is not to boast or to get glory for myself, but what I believe he was referring to was the biblical Gospel that was presented to him that Sunday morning in its fullness; and along with its sobering and solemn implications concerning man’s eternity.

At the end of the conversation, I handed the young man a Bible and invited him to our church’s Christmas services.  I am not sure if I will ever see him again or whether he plans to go back to Florida soon, but I am sure glad that God used me to share the Gospel to him that morning.  It was an evangelism encounter that I did not expect that day, but it is a reminder that I need to be ready in season and out of season (2 Tim. 4:2).  I definetey could sleep well tonight knowing that I did not preach a perverted Gospel message.  I know the Lord is faithful and His Word will not return back void (Is. 55:11).  Please keep him in prayer.  It is my prayer that the Lord will convert him from the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light.  Soli deo gloria.

Appendix of Important Terms and Concepts for Evangelism and Counseling

  1. Repentance
    • In the OT, the verb repent (niham) occurs about thirty-five times; and is usually used to signify a contemplated change in God’s dealings with men for good or bad according to his judgment (1 Sam. 15:11, 35; Jonah 3:9-10).  It is also is used to signify that God will not swerve from his announced purpose (1 Sam. 15:15:29; Ps. 110:4; Jer. 4:28). In the NT, the word for repentance is metanoia which means “a change of mind.”  That word metanoia appears twenty-three times in the NT.  What is unique about the word metanoia is that it goes beyond the meaning of having an inner change, but it also involves a turn in direction in one’s life.  In other words, it involves a 360-turn in one’s life.  Grudem defines repentance as follows, “Repentance is a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ” (Systematic Theology, 713). “Genuine repentance will result in a changed life” (Ibid.).
    • What also must consider what repentance is not.  Repentance is not just feeling bad or sorrowful for the sin one commits, but a sorrow that is according to the will of God that leads to repentance.  In other words, when one understands that his sin is against God, he will repent.  But one who has the sorrow of the world may feel bad for the mistakes he made in life, but he will not feel bad that he sinned against a holy God.  And a person who has the sorrow according to the will of God does not regret the sin he has left.  A person who has regret about leaving his sin shows the reigning idol in his heart still remains.  The idol to exalt one’s pleasure and to satisfy one’s pleasure has prevented many from repenting from his or her sins.  If a person sees God as his greatest joy, he will have godly sorrow and will truly repent.  Please see 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 for more details concerning sorrow of the world and the godly sorrow that is according to God’s will that leads to repentance.
  2. Faith
    • Faith is trusting and relying on God’s promises, the work of Christ; and believing in Christ as Savior and Lord.
    • In terms of the language of faith, there are two key terms that must be understood: pistis and pisteuo.  Let’s first deal with the verbal usage of pistis and pisteuo.  Pistis means “faith,” “trust,” and “belief.”  Pisteuo means to “believe in” and to “have faith in,” and “entrust.”  As for the noun pistis and the verb pisteuo – they are used around 240 times in the New Testament.  If we are to summarize faith, we could see it in three elements.  Just like repentance, faith as well, affects the intellect, emotion, and volition.  It must also be mentioned that faith is not a blind faith in Christianity, but involves the belief in something true; and also includes the idea of personal trust in Christ rather than our self-righteousness.
    • Going back to the three elements, I will just piggy-back off of that and also give you the reformer’s terminology of faith: notitia, assensus, and fiducia.  Nottia signifies an awareness of the facts of the Gospel; assensus signifies the belief that the facts were true; and fiducia signifies a personal confidence and trust.  The first two conveys the idea of facts being true and the last term emphasizes faith in God personally.  Also, just like repentance, faith is also a gift (Eph. 2:8; 1 Cor. 12:3; 1 Tim. 1:14; Heb. 12:2).
    • Scriptural references for faith:
      • Rom. 10:9, “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
      • John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
  3. Repentance and Faith Affects the Mind
    • Intellect
      • The sinner should realize that he is sinning before a holy and just God.
    • Emotion
      • There needs to be a zealous hatred for sin and a zealous love for Christ (Jn 4:24).
    • Voliton
      • There needs to be willing desire to fight-off sin and a willing desire to cling to Christ and His Word.
  4. Tests of Assurance Concerning Salvation
    • Walking in the light (1 Jn 1:5-7)
    • Confession of sin (1 Jn 1:8-10)
    • Obedience (1 John 2:3-4)
    • Hatred for the sinful things of the world (1 Jn 2:15-17)
    • Perseverance in right doctrine (1 Jn 2:24-25)
    • Righteousness (1 Jn 3:10)
    • Spirit’s testimony (1 Jn 4:13)
    • Love for the brethren (1 Jn 2:9-11)
    • Discipline (Heb. 12:5-8)
  5. The Way of the Transgressor is Hard
    • Proverbs 13:15, “Good understanding produces favor,/But the way of the treacherous is hard.”
  6. You cannot be forgiven by God unless you are a child of God
    • Eph 1:7, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”
  7. Double-Minded Man is Unstable
    • James 1:8, “Being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
  8. There is Only One Way to Live
    • Psalm 1, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
      Nor stand in the path of sinners,
      Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
      But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
      And in His law he meditates day and night.
      He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
      Which yields its fruit in its season
      And its leaf does not wither;
      And in whatever he does, he prospers.

      The wicked are not so,
      But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
      Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
      Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
      For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
      But the way of the wicked will perish.

  9. True Discipleship Tested
    • Luke 14:25-27, “Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

[1] Steve Jeffrey, Michael Ovey, and Andrew Sach, Pierced for Our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2007), 21.

*All Scripture is quoted from New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995); unless otherwise noted.

*Some concepts were adapted from Michael A. Vlach, “Theology III” (Unpublished syllabus, The Master’s Seminary, 2012) and “The Gospel of Jesus Christ,” http://www.heartcrymissionary.com/resources/the-gospel-of-jesus-christ (accessed December 18, 2012).

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The list is from Gospel Living of biblical commentary on the Sandy Cook Elementary massacre:

I’ve also thought these two links are also insightful:

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If you bite and Devour

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

Certainly a Christian apologist should be contending for the faith–but that does not mean they have to be contentious.  And being contentious is a pitfall that the Christian apologist might be more tempted with than others brothers in Christ and and this is a good book addressing this sin. The author Alexander Strauch is able to write this book with a pastoral heart. Addresses the issue of Christian and conflict. Admonishes the believers to act in the Spirit, love and humility, while controlling anger, tongue and criticism and pursing reconciliation and peace. A good work for the pastor to use for counseling with a believer on addressing conflicts biblically. Also has two chapters on facing false teachers and controversy respectively, which balances the book lest one thinks that a Christian should avoid conflict at all costs, even at the expense of the Gospel. Balance book, and convicting. Don’t forget to also read the appendix–which I appreciated and wish he would develop it into a chapter length, focusing on how sanctification occurs with our union with Christ. Recommended!

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