Friday, January 28, 2011

Snippets of Spurgeon - Perfect in Christ Jesus

Morning, January 28

“Perfect in Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 1:28

Do you not feel in your own soul that perfection is not in you? Does not every day teach you that? Every tear which trickles from your eye, weeps “imperfection;” every harsh word which proceeds from your lip, mutters “imperfection.” You have too frequently had a view of your own heart to dream for a moment of any perfection in yourself. But amidst this sad consciousness of imperfection, here is comfort for you—you are “perfect in Christ Jesus.” In God’s sight, you are “complete in him;” even now you are “accepted in the Beloved.” But there is a second perfection, yet to be realized, which is sure to all the seed. Is it not delightful to look forward to the time when every stain of sin shall be removed from the believer, and he shall be presented faultless before the throne, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing? The Church of Christ then will be so pure, that not even the eye of Omniscience will see a spot or blemish in her; so holy and so glorious, that Hart did not go beyond the truth when he said—
“With my Saviour’s garments on,
Holy as the Holy One.”
Then shall we know, and taste, and feel the happiness of this vast but short sentence, “Complete in Christ.” Not till then shall we fully comprehend the heights and depths of the salvation of Jesus. Doth not thy heart leap for joy at the thought of it? Black as thou art, thou shalt be white one day; filthy as thou art, thou shalt be clean. Oh, it is a marvellous salvation this! Christ takes a worm and transforms it into an angel; Christ takes a black and deformed thing and makes it clean and matchless in his glory, peerless in his beauty, and fit to be the companion of seraphs. O my soul, stand and admire this blessed truth of perfection in Christ.
C.H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Saving Marriage - A Battle Of The War

There is a war raging world wide. The war in which every Christian will have to take a stand, whether they like it or not. As children of God we are called to defend the faith and pursue truth; we must do that which glorifies our God and Father. Are you willing to do anything for Him who pulled you out of darkness? Are you willing to risk it all? The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is constantly under attack and we must continue to fight by consistently proclaiming that Glorious Truth.

One of the current battles in this war is marriage: The covenant between one man and one woman, before God Almighty.

This is what Pastor Campbell Markham, from the Saving Marriage blog, said in his post 'Is Same-sex Marriage a Gospel Issue?': "If we redefine marriage, and so distort it, we distort one of God's most beautiful and powerful pictures of the Gospel.  It's hard to hear Beethoven's genius through broken headphones.  It's hard to see Raphael's genius through fogged and cracked glasses.  It will only be harder for us and our children to grasp the Gospel if we allow this God-given picture of it to be mangled."

In his post, Opening Pandora's Box, Pastor Markham stated: "It is utterly arbitrary to allow homosexuals to marry on the grounds that they love each other without also allowing it to other kinds of 'loving' couples. If marriage is redefined these other people will demand their 'human rights' too! This is an objection to gay marriage that simply hasn't been answered .

Canada legalised gay 'marriage' in 2005. In late 2010 polygamy became a live issue there, because Islam and fundamentalist branches of Mormonism want it. So now the Canadian government has to decide whether they will enforce laws that prohibit it. But what is to prevent the Mormons and the Muslims using exactly the same arguments as the gay lobby to defend their practice? Why should others discriminate against us. Don't we have an equal right to form whatever marriage arrangements we choose to make? If we love each other then why shouldn't we be allowed to marry?

Once we begin redefining marriage, how will we resist these further pressures? How will we re-shut Pandora's box?"

The war is essentially about the true Gospel and one of the battles in this war is over marriage. Christian, do you think the conservative view of marriage is merely 'stuffy'and 'old fashioned'? Do you think Christian's need to 'chill' and become more 'culturally aware'? Have you read your Bible lately? I recommend Genesis 1:26-31 & 2:18-24. From the very beginning, God instated marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman. Does not God know best? How then is it the 'folly of the conservative'? Perhaps you do not consider the Bible to be the ultimate authority? I shall elucidate.

The Bible reveals what we need to know about God and His will. Either the Bible is the highest authority in everything or it is no authority at all. If the latter is the case then
a) God must be puisne
b) even the ten commandments hold no sway
Hideously frightening! If we may do as we please with no regard to anyone (especially God) then God could charge us with no wrong, there would be no justice and God would not be loving. If, in your mind, any part of the Bible ceases to be authoritative, the remaining authority will crumble in time.

Do you respectfully cherish everything in the Word of God, or do you find It offensive and trample It because the world is your authority?

Marriage is but one battle, and there are many more battles to come. We must be prepared. There is no middle ground worth standing in, for that which is between the trenches is the most dangerous place of all.

Christian! I implore you to consider which trench you are really fighting from - God's or the world's?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Snippets of Spurgeon - Art Thou Proud?

Morning, January 22

“Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree, or than a branch which is among the trees of the forest?”
                                                       Ezekiel 15:2
These words are for the humbling of God’s people; they are called God’s vine, but what are they by nature more than others? They, by God’s goodness, have become fruitful, having been planted in a good soil; the Lord hath trained them upon the walls of the sanctuary, and they bring forth fruit to his glory; but what are they without their God? What are they without the continual influence of the Spirit, begetting fruitfulness in them? O believer, learn to reject pride, seeing that thou hast no ground for it. Whatever thou art, thou hast nothing to make thee proud. The more thou hast, the more thou art in debt to God; and thou shouldst not be proud of that which renders thee a debtor. Consider thine origin; look back to what thou wast. Consider what thou wouldst have been but for divine grace. Look upon thyself as thou art now. Doth not thy conscience reproach thee? Do not thy thousand wanderings stand before thee, and tell thee that thou art unworthy to be called his son? And if he hath made thee anything, art thou not taught thereby that it is grace which hath made thee to differ? Great believer, thou wouldst have been a great sinner if God had not made thee to differ. O thou who art valiant for truth, thou wouldst have been as valiant for error if grace had not laid hold upon thee. Therefore, be not proud, though thou hast a large estate—a wide domain of grace, thou hadst not once a single thing to call thine own except thy sin and misery. Oh! strange infatuation, that thou, who hast borrowed everything, shouldst think of exalting thyself; a poor dependent pensioner upon the bounty of thy Saviour, one who hath a life which dies without fresh streams of life from Jesus, and yet proud! Fie on thee, O silly heart!
C.H. Spurgeon

A Calvi/Armi Debate

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Travel Plan

I am very nearly packed and the next 18 days will disappear lickety split!
I've never driven on the mainland so much prayer for me (and the other drivers!) would be much appreciated.

Sunday 6th February 2011:

  • Some time in the afternoon leave town (After church and fellowship lunch).
  • An hour later arrive at my parent's house in Launceston and stay the night.

Monday 7th February 2011:

  • Wake at about 5.30am
  • Coffee!
  • Leave Launceston at about 6.00am
  • Arrive in Devonport at about 7.30am and check car in at the Spirit of Tasmania dock.
  • More coffee!!!
  • Leave on Spirit at about 9.00am
  • Arrive in Melbourne at about 6.00pm
  • Drive to Geelong - hopefully arrive at RTC before 8.00pm
I thought a map would help to give a clearer understanding.

This is Australia and I've circled the area I'll be travelling.

This is it closer up with the main points of interest.

There are plenty of flights between Melbourne and Launceston and they only take about an hour. I decided to take the boat for my initial trip because I want to have my car over there (and I will stuff it with as much of my junk as possible!). 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Homesick before leaving?

A lot of people talk about not realising what they had before they lost it. I already know what I've got and I am, in a way, dreading leaving it. Physically, moving isn't that difficult, just a nuisance. I do like a good challenge and I am moderately motivated for the relocation.

I shall very much miss the Tassie scenery.

Behold the beauty:

The rest of Australia is spectacular too. Perhaps a post later in the year.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Excited! RTC Timetable Released Today.

Edited - Timetable Change

Well I'm hoping I deciphered it correctly.

8.30am - 10.05am: Theology [D(double period)]
10.30am - 11.30am Devotions
11.30am - 12.20pm: John's Gospel
1.00pm - 3.00pm: OT Foundations[D] (I thought I was doing formative traditions?)

8.30am - 10.05am: NT Greek [D]
10:30am - 12.20pm: John's Gospel [D]
1.00pm - 3.00pm: OT Foundations [D]


8.30am - 9.20am : OT Foundations
9.20am - 10.05am: Theology
11.30am - 12.20pm: Cell group

8.30am - 10.05am: NT Greek [D]
10.30am - 11.30am: OT Foundations

I have a 'long weekend' every weekend but obviously my lecture free days I will be studying very hard! When I'm not in lectures, or in the dining room stuffing my face, I will be hiding in the library; I shall discover an abundance of literary masterpieces and steep myself in pages of theological brilliance.

Excited. So excited!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snippets of Spurgeon - Evening January 12th

Evening, January 12 

“I have yet to speak on God’s behalf.”
Job 36:2

We ought not to court publicity for our virtue, or notoriety for our zeal; but, at the same time, it is a sin to be always seeking to hide that which God has bestowed upon us for the good of others. A Christian is not to be a village in a valley, but “a city set upon a hill;” he is not to be a candle under a bushel, but a candle in a candlestick, giving light to all. Retirement may be lovely in its season, and to hide one’s self is doubtless modest, but the hiding of Christ in us can never be justified, and the keeping back of truth which is precious to ourselves is a sin against others and an offence against God. If you are of a nervous temperament and of retiring disposition, take care that you do not too much indulge this trembling propensity, lest you should be useless to the church. Seek in the name of him who was not ashamed of you to do some little violence to your feelings, and tell to others what Christ has told to you. If thou canst not speak with trumpet tongue, use the still small voice. If the pulpit must not be thy tribune, if the press may not carry on its wings thy words, yet say with Peter and John, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee.” By Sychar’s well talk to the Samaritan woman, if thou canst not on the mountain preach a sermon; utter the praises of Jesus in the house, if not in the temple; in the field, if not upon the exchange; in the midst of thine own household, if thou canst not in the midst of the great family of man. From the hidden springs within let sweetly flowing rivulets of testimony flow forth, giving drink to every passer-by. Hide not thy talent; trade with it; and thou shalt bring in good interest to thy Lord and Master. To speak for God will be refreshing to ourselves, cheering to saints, useful to sinners, and honouring to the Saviour. Dumb children are an affliction to their parents. Lord, unloose all thy children’s tongue.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Theology For Girls - Old School Friday Funny

Theology For Girls is run by the lovely Diane. This is something she posted last year.

FRIDAY, JUNE 25, 2010


“Luther contended with many adversaries throughout the days of the Reformation, but perhaps his greatest adversaries were the Franciscans, who arguably were the most loyal Papists. During one encounter with a Franciscan, Luther bemoaned the fact that whenever he prayed, his mind was filled with distracting thoughts.

“Prayer comes very easy to me,” intoned the monk. When I pray, I block out the world; I cannot ever remember having a wayward thought”.

Astounded, Luther engaged the monk with wagers. “I bet you cannot even prayer the Lord’s Prayer without having distracting thoughts”.

“You have a wager!” answered the monk, eagerly. “But what’s the wager?”

“I’ll wage you a bottle of the finest Rhenish wine in Saxony,” offered the good doctor. “Only you must be honest enough to admit if you have a distracting thought.”

“I’ll be perfectly honest, as I always am,” he said. The monk began to pray the Lord’s Prayer, but about half way through the prayer, he suddenly stopped, opened his eyes and said to Luther, “I’ve got to ask you; does the wager include a corkscrew?”

"Drinking With Calvin and Luther" by Jim West; Oakdown books; pg.28

*Gasp* Only 59 Psalms Yesterday

Not so productive on the Bible reading front but very productive in reading the C.S. Lewis novel, Out of the Silent Plant, till around 1am. I hadn't picked the book up for a few days and I decided I needed a little break from my other reading. I think I will do a review when I finish it.

Something I was pondering whilst reading the Psalms: 
Often, very often, David makes mention of his righteousness; that he has kept God's law etc. It got me thinking about the differences between Law and Grace. In some ways we get it easy, but with ease, laziness and selfishness swiftly swoop.

I know we must be careful not to get legalistic, and we must be careful not to become grace-abusers.
"Being careful" all the time can in itself become an issue. One may become paranoid, anxious, depressed etc.

On the one hand, God's mercy and grace towards us should be overwhelmingly consumable. Being fully wretched we have no rights before  the pure and perfect God of the Universe; if we ever had any rights in the first place! You man, even before sin occurred in the world, were but an instrument, to be wielded by the Almighty. Have you no shame? Why then do you think it befitting for man to be free in his will; when now his will is to do naught but pure, unadulterated evil? Worms, we are worms, but we are His precious worms; fully justified, and being progressively sanctified, all for His glory and honour.

On the other hand, God's mercy and grace towards us should give us passion and vivacity; even the most melancholy of personalities cannot help but feel a joyous appreciation towards his Lord. That is not to say that we are ridiculous in our behaviour, as some of our brethren are, but that we have a calm, thankful attitude before the Lord. When you are grateful, do you not feel inclined to smile, and to show your feelings outwardly  in an enthusiastic manner?

A little etymology side note: enthusiasm = ἐνθουσιασμός
From ἔνθεος
ἐν = in
θεός = God
Literally 'Possessed by God'.

We still feel grievances and sorrows, but we have a hope. If we had a choice we would turn the other way, every single time. We were in a 'loving' bondage to our sins, but because of God's will, we now are in truly loving bondage to our Lord Jesus Christ.
(And that is how you place two conjunctions together and call it a sentence.)

We are free from the Law but we are not free from God!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is God a Megalomaniac? Right Answer. Wrong Reason.

I was browsing the Desiring God blog and that heading caught my eye. This is what John Piper had to say:

Is God a Megalomaniac? Right Answer. Wrong Reason.

I have spent 40 years seeking to understand and explain why God’s relentless self-exaltation in all that he does (for example, Isaiah 48:9–11) is the most loving way for him to be, and is not megalomania.
Some have tried to argue that the problem of God’s self-exaltation is solved by his intra-Trinitarian other-orientedness. That is, God the Father and God the Son do not seek their own individual glory, but the glory of the other, and in that sense God seeks his own glory.
It is true that the Father and the Son do seek the glory of the other (John 14:1317:1). But this is not a solution to the problem of divine self-exaltation. The reason it’s not is that in the Bible the Father does exalt his own glory.
For example, Paul prays to the Father in Philippians 1:9–11,
It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more . . . so that you might be filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Consider: Paul is praying to the Father. He is asking the Father to do something, namely, to fill the Philippians with the fruit of righteousness “that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
So it is clear that Paul expects God the Father to be motivated to bring about his own praise. The Son makes it possible by working righteousness in the saints. But the one Paul is asking to work for his own glory is the Father.
This is no surprise, if we remember the first petition of the Lord’s prayer: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9). Jesus tells us to ask the Father to make much of his own name.
There are other examples that could be given (like Philippians 2:9–11), but let this suffice. It is true that the persons of the Trinity love to make much of each other. But this is not the solution to the problem of God’s self-exaltation.
That solution, as far as I have been able to see through my dark glass, is this: God must uphold his own glory as the supreme value of the universe because 1) he is true, and it would be false to hold up any other glory as supreme; and 2) he is loving, and it would be unloving to offer us as supremely satisfying anything less than what is infinitely and eternally satisfying—namely, himself.

1Chronicles through Job

So far so good. The cat, Missy, decided that it was a good thing too. She rather likes a snuggly cuddle and was cosy company while I was reading 1 Chronicles.


There was a lot of recapping fom Kings and a lot of lists of names. If you're expecting a child and want a solid Bible name - Chronicles are the books for you.

I totally recommend reading Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther in succession and in the one day. Doesn't take too long. 2 hours tops. I broke it up with cups of tea and with chocolate, washing up, and cooking and eating dinner. Reading those three books together helps put the "returning from captivity" stuff into perspective and context.

Job was one of the first books I read after I became aware of my salvation. I think I read it in one or two sittings. I remember talking it over with a couple of good friends. Gladly they had given me a Johnny Mac Study Bible so my brains didn't go too mushy from confusion.

Whoever said the Bible was boring was either bereft of intellect or a child of perniciousness. There are so many adventures, and battles, and amazing things in the Bible. Take, for instance, when the sun stood still in Joshua, and what about a Giant with 12 fingers and 12 toes [beats vampires hands down (pun intended)]? What about a global flood?! There are movies about global catastrophes but have they come close? What about a chase with over a million people escaping from their captors? The goodies get across a sea that parts, and the baddies end up like bugs in a sodden bug catcher, in the hands of an 8 year old boy. That totally beats the Hollywood generic car chase! Don't forget the people who tried to build a tower to the heavens - epic fail!

I'm only 18 books in - 48 to go!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Judges Chapter 5 through Revelation in 5 weeks....?! (Day 2)

1Samuel 26 through 2 Kings

I was hoping to get through Job but it didn't happen. Today is a new day so maybe I'll get there.

Most people would know the usual bits like David and Bathsheba, Amnon and Tamar etc.
I would like to draw your attention to 2 Samuel 21
1) Rizpah - what a mother! Do you see the dedication and sacrifice? That is love.
2) Goliath had offspring - worth reading for the descriptions.

It was all a great read but a bit tedious when my audio Bible malfunctioned. I think I wasted about an hour and a half battling through the first part of 1Kings. I kept stopping to confab with my flatmate. I've found I am less tempted to talk when the disk keeps going and I have to keep up.

I have a question in relation to 2Kings 1. The god of Ekron is named Baal-Zebub - which looks and sounds an awful lot like Beelzebub. Baal-Zebub means Lord of the Flies right? Is there a connection between the names or is it just one of those 'too close for comfort' scenarios?

Bring on 1Chronicles!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Judges Chapter 5 through Revelation in 5 weeks....?! (Day 1)

Well that's what I am aiming to do.
Why 5 weeks? I'll be at RTC.
Why not from Genesis? Because I've been reading through from cover to cover and got a bit distracted around Joshua.

I decided that blogging about it would make me accountable. Yesterday I read from Judges 5 through 1Samuel 25. I wanted to finish 1 Samuel but I was getting to the point where my eyes were blinking at different times; that only happens when I'm really tired. I must admit I have a little secret: I use the audio Bible and I read along silently. It helps keep me focussed, I don't try to read so fast, thus I take in more.

A Quick Recap
Genesis is a good way to start the whole thing off - The first of lots of things.
Exodus to Deuteronomy - full of deserty adventure, a lot of talking, and giving of instructions. 
Joshua - awesome battles and a super long day.

From Yesterday
Judges: Israel still not getting it! Still turning their backs on God to worship other gods and we'd do exactly the same if it weren't for His grace and mercy.
I do remember the story of the left-handed soldier but I don't remember the details being told in Sunday school. Judges 3:12 - 30 is fantastic and it's loaded with funnies or I just have a warped sense of humour.
Here's my paraphrase:
Israel again did evil in the the sight of the Lord, thus they incurred God's wrath in the form of  Eglon - the nastypasty king of Moab. Eglon took possession of the City of Palms and Israel served him for 18 years. Israel inevitably went all sookylala and cried out to God, who raised up Ehud. I think he was responsible for taking Israel's dough to Eglon. (Now this is where all the lefties get to cheer) Ehud was left handed so he could secret a weapon where no one would look, and not be unco (or accidentally lop his leg off) when trying to brandish the thing. The Bible says Ehud's daggar/sword, self-made of course, was double edged and about 41.72cm in length. The Bible also says that Eglon was a very fat man. Picture this: Ehud goes into the king, says he needs to tell him a secret, and the two are left alone.

Judges 3:20-25 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
20 Then Ehud approached him while he was sitting alone in his room upstairs [where it was] cool. Ehud said, "I have a word from God for you," and the king stood up from his throne. 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and plunged it into Eglon's belly.22 Even the handle went in after the blade, and Eglon's fat closed in over it, so that Ehud did not withdraw the sword from his belly. And Eglon's insides came out. 23 Ehud escaped by way of the porch, closing and locking the doors of the upstairs room behind him.
24 Ehud was gone when Eglon's servants came in. They looked and found the doors of the upstairs room locked and thought he was relieving himself [c] in the cool room. 25 The servants waited until they became worried and saw that he had still not opened the doors of the upstairs room. So they took the key and opened the doors—and there was their lord lying dead on the floor!

If I had to do a talk, and I knew a heap of teenage boys were attending, I would seriously consider using this passage. It would be fantastic to re-enact! I could say more on those verses but I'm stopping there. Read it for yourself!

If you haven't heard about Jephthah, Judges 11-12:7 tells of him. (I think I cried a bit the first time I read it.)

Going through the rest lickety-split:
Ruth - a must read even for guys.
1 Samuel -  the Lord squishes a few guys (who did evil in the eyes of the Lord) like bugs! Saul and David play a hybrid of chasies, hide and seek, cat and mouse, and duck or I'll spear you. And David totally cramps Saul's style. The girly-stines (philly-stines - Philistines...never mind) also try their hand at the game and sometimes have successes. They manage to pinch the Ark of the Covenant, but Israel gets it back for a bit.  Jonathan and David become best mates, which really sends Saul into a tizz, and David ends up with way too many wives.

Time for me to read some more.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


How do you evangelise?
Do you have a favourite technique?
Do you have any favourite resources?
Do you know someone who has a site dedicated to evangelism?

These are my favourite sites on evangelism:
Operation 3:15 (and their blog)
The Way Of The Master
Living Waters
Fish With Trish