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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 20

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 20

Chapter 12 – Of Adoption
I. All those that are justified, God vouchsafes, in and for his only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption: by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God; have his name put upon them; receive the Spirit of adoption; have access to the throne of grace with boldness; are enabled to cry, Abba, Father; are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by him as by a father; yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption, and inherit the promises, as heirs of everlasting salvation.


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Tell-Tale Sign Of A Graceless Heart (via Jared Longshore)

A graceless heart can be at the centre of what appears to be a commendable life.
Not demonstrably bad, even hardworking and knowledgeable.
But graceless hearts grumble.
From Jared Longshore at Founders Ministries:

Jesus found grumbling so off putting that he lined up three parables to fix it. We are commanded in the Bible to “Do all things without grumbling.” Paul tells us that when the Israelites grumbled in the wilderness they were destroyed. Jude puts grumblers alongside the malcontents and loud-mouth boasters who are designated for condemnation.
Why is it that grumbling is so reprehensible? It is because grumbling reveals a graceless heart. That is the key quality that the Pharisees, the scribes, and the older brother lacked: Grace. Grace gives people more then they deserve. This is a kind of giving that these men did not know. The Pharisees said, “These sinners don’t deserve to eat with Jesus.” The older brother complained, “My younger brother does not deserve this celebration.” But justice, though important, is not ultimate in a grace filled heart. Justice is not the end of the story or the totality of the story. It was for the Pharisees, scribes, and the older brother. But not for Jesus.
We must ask ourselves, “Am I a graceless person?” I may be zealous for truth, obedience, and service, but am I zealous to treat people better then they deserve? May God help us to examine ourselves according to the graceless man revealed in Luke 15. And where we find ourselves lacking in this godly quality, may God strengthen us to do good to the undeserving by the very grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Read the whole post here.


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Brian Chapell On Grace As Pardon And Grace As Fuel

Brian Chapell has an upcoming book Unlimited Grace.
Apparently there’s a new ministry called Unlimited Grace being launched too.

Here Chapell talks about how grace is not only the beginning of the Christian life, but it is also all of Christian living.


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When God Gives You Way More Than You Can Handle (via Philip Ryken)

Philip Ryken takes issue with the oft heard Christian advice ‘God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.’

We Can’t Handle All of Life’s Trouble . . .
We will never be ready for all of the troubles that we face in life and I have to say that I disagree with the common slogan that you sometimes see on posters that goes something like this: “I know God’s not going to give me anything more than I can handle.” Actually, my experience is that a lot of times God gives me way more than I can handle—and I think that’s normal.
. . . but God Can.
One of the reasons that he gives us more than we can handle is because his grace proves sufficient in our weakness. So in one sense, we can never prepare for all of the troubles that we are going to face. But what does prepare us is healthy, normal, ordinary, daily Christian living: Spending time in God’s word everyday, being with the people of God for worship at least every week, turning to God in prayer daily in every circumstance that we face, and just being honest about the troubles that we’re having—honest with ourselves, honest with God, honest with other Christians about those troubles. We will grow in our capacity to face the struggles of life as we live healthy, ordinary, daily Christian life.


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The Eradication Of Shame (via Scotty Smith)

Scotty Smith provides these words, an encouragement as Jesus’ people prepare to gather in worship tomorrow:

Heavenly Father, drive the good news of these Scriptures deep, deep, deep into our hearts, for shame has marked and marred many of us. Heal and free us, by the power and truth of the gospel.

“Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth.” Isa. 54:4 (ESV)
The eradication of all shame is one of the things I’m most looking forward about our life in the new heaven and new earth. Never again will we feel “dis-graced,” only “fully-graced.” Never again will we remember the shaming events of our childhood, or of our youth, or of our adult years. Never again will we feel the disintegrating and paralyzing power of shame, or the need to hide and cover up. Hallelujah!

The Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” Rom. 10:11 (ESV)
And there’s only one reason for such a hope: Because Jesus bore the full weight of our guilt and has broken the eviscerating power of our shame. To believe in Jesus is to trust in the One who was shamed for us on the cross—the One who doesn’t despise our weaknesses or our insecurities; nor does he turn away from us when we feel fractured or fragile; painfully self-aware or the pain of self-contempt. Indeed, Jesus has clothed our vulnerable nakedness with the garments of his grace. Hallelujah!

Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Rom. 5:5 (ESV)
Father, thank you that the promise of a shame-free eternity isn’t self-hype; it’s a sure hope. As we wait for the Day of no more shame, we now live in the day of your lavish love. You’ve poured your love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, and you’ll continue to do so. May the voice of the Spirit, witnessing to our beloved-ness, drown out all other voices pestering us about our brokenness. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ wonderful and merciful name.

source.


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Dodge Reconciliation, Deny the Gospel (via Ray Ortlund)

Ray Ortlund explores the practical outworking of being reconciled to God on our personal relationships:
An excerpt:

Let’s ask ourselves some hard questions: Who are we keeping our distance from? Who are we avoiding? Who are we hoping we won’t run into around town? Whose presence makes us feel awkward because of some painful history? To whom might we owe an apology? If we say we love the gospel of reconciliation, can we let any relational breakdown go on and on without at least trying to reconcile? And if we are unwilling to try, then let’s admit it: we are trifling with God. We are, in practice, denying the gospel.
We prove our sincerity about the vertical gospel of reconciliation through our willingness to move toward horizontal relationships that need reconciliation. Maybe that person or that church or that group won’t listen to us. But still, we must try. And we might be surprised at how God blesses our imperfect but prayerful effort.

Read the whole post here.


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Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 28

Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 28

Q & A 107
Q Which is the second commandment?
A The second commandment is, ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments’. (Exodus 20:4-6)

Q & A 108
Q What are the duties required in the second commandment?
A The duties required in the second commandment are, the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath instituted in his Word; particularly prayer and thanksgiving in the name of Christ; the reading, preaching, and hearing of the Word; the administration and receiving of the sacraments; church government and discipline; the ministry and maintenance thereof; religious fasting; swearing by the name of God; and vowing unto him; as also the disapproving, detesting, opposing all false worship; and, according to each one’s place and calling, removing it, and all monuments of idolatry.

Q & A 109
Q What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?
A The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counselling, commanding, using, and anywise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; tolerating a false religion; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever; all worshipping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging to them, all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretence whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed.

Q & A 110
Q What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it?
A The reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it, contained in these words, ‘for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments’; are, besides God’s sovereignty over us, and propriety in us, his fervent zeal for his own worship, and his revengeful indignation against all false worship, as being a spiritual whoredom; accounting the breakers of this commandment such as hate him, and threatening to punish them unto divers generations; and esteeming the observers of it such as love him and keep his commandments, and promising mercy to them unto many generations.