Friday, March 31, 2006

Is April Fool's Day Harmless Fun?

Proverbs 26
18 Like a madman who throws
Firebrands, arrows and death,
19 So is the man who deceives his neighbor,
And says, "Was I not joking?"


(HT: Tim Challies)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Godly sorrow vs. worldly sorrow- Sermon Notes

2 Cor. 7
2 Make room for us in your hearts; we wronged no one, we corrupted no one, we took advantage of no one.
3 I do not speak to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together.
4 Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction.
5 For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within.
6 But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus;
7 and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced even more.
8 For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it--for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while--
9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.
10 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.
12 So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the offender nor for the sake of the one offended, but that your earnestness on our behalf might be made known to you in the sight of God.
13 For this reason we have been comforted And besides our comfort, we rejoiced even much more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.

- there are those who appear to be grieved over sin one day and then yet the next day they are back in the same old sins
- we don't like to analyze our grief or dissect our sorrow- the world thinks we should just not say a word because, after all, "they are hurting!"- but we have to analyze these things because there is a sorrow that leads to death and a sorrow that leads to life

Context: Prior to this, Paul had written to the church at Corinth a very severe letter instructing them to excommunicate a member in their midst. Paul is joyful because the grief his letter caused led to repentance.

- 2 different kinds of grief
- 2 different fruits of grief
- 2 different ends of grief

2 different kinds of grief

- worldly- that which does not acknowledge nor love God- when you realize that you are not going to get all from the world that you wanted- it is not sorrow over sin but sorrow over loss of opportunities- it's all about "what I lost" and not about "what I did to God"

Heb. 12
15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.
17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

- godly- sin is grieved over because it grieves God- when we sin, we are not treasuring God- sin brings the discipline of God- sin keeps us from walking in the Spirit [I found this article by Jim Elliff on my own study: 35 Reasons Not to Sin Not that we need 35...the fact that sin grieves God should be enough!]

2 different fruits of grief

- death- although Judas confessed his sin, it did not result in life but in his utter sorrow and death- world sorrow lacks repentance and only grieves over sin (for the wrong reasons)

Matt. 27
3 Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
4 saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? See to that yourself!"
5 And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.

- repentance- but the sorrow that leads to repentance has hope instead of sorrow leading to death- this is because it trusts in the promises and grace of God- this sorrow leads one to the foot of the cross- it knows God is always gracious toward His children

- repentance- a change of mind that moves us to obey God- an earnestness and eagerness to obey God's law- the Christian is now joyfully under God's moral law, for he is no longer condemned by it and it is now written on his heart
- the truly penitent is "not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord" (Rom 12:11)
- there is an eagerness to clear oneself to show true repentance, there is indignation and repulsion over sin, there is a fear and reverence for God, there is a longing to be done with sin and to be in a right relationship with others (2 Cor 7:11)

Joel 2

12 "Yet even now," declares the LORD,
"Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;
13 And rend your heart and not your garments "
Now return to the LORD your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness
And relenting of evil.
14 Who knows whether He will not turn and relent
And leave a blessing behind Him,
Even a grain offering and a drink offering
For the LORD your God?
15 Blow a trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly,
16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and the nursing infants
Let the bridegroom come out of his room
And the bride out of her bridal chamber.
17 Let the priests, the LORD'S ministers,
Weep between the porch and the altar,
And let them say, "Spare Your people, O LORD,
And do not make Your inheritance a reproach,
A byword among the nations
Why should they among the peoples say,
'Where is their God?'"

2 ends of grief

- hell- it leads to God's wrath

- salvation- it leads to God's grace

How can the Christian ever regret confessing their sins when it only leads to the cross of grace? In Christ, there is no fear in repentance. All of the Christian's sin was atoned for at Calvary, what wrath is there left?

My friend Dave Shuey recommends this book: Repentance and 21st Century Man by Jack Miller. I bought it, and it looks good!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

New template!

No more pink! Yes, I know...I don't like change much either, but it had to be done...

The old one was getting old and apparently some people have a deadly fear of "that color which results from mixing the colors red and white together". So as to not put a stumbling block in anyone's way, here ya go ;)

This one is much cooler anyway.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Regeneration- Sunday School Notes

Abstract of Principles

VIII. Regeneration.
Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickeneth the dead in trespasses and sins enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God's free and special grace alone.

Ezekiel 36:26-27
26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances."

- change of heart
- brought about by the Holy Spirit
- that makes alive
- who? dead people
- enlightening the mind
- so that they understand God's Word
- renews whole nature
- so that they love and practice holiness
- God alone does this

the Father's role
- 1 Peter 1:3- "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead"

the Holy Spirit's role
- John 3:8- "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Stark contrast between being dead and being alive:

1 Cor. 1:18- "For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Eph. 2
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

2 Cor. 5:17- "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

Unless we are born again, we cannot respond positively to God. Hence, regeneration precedes faith. And regeneration always results in faith.

John 3
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;
2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless (E)God is with him."
3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"
5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
8 "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

John 6:44- ""No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."

John 6:65- "And He was saying, 'For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.'"

Acts 16:14- "A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul."

1 Cor. 2:14- "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."

What are the fruits of regeneration?

1 John 5:1- "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him."

1 John 3:9- "No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."

1 John 4:7- "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God."

1 John 5
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.

How should knowing this doctrine affect us as Christians?

- praise and thankfulness for God's grace and mercy
- humility in knowing we are unworthy and took no part in our salvation
- this should drive us to pray for the lost because it is God who must move
- it also makes us confident in evangelism because we just need to proclaim God's Word, the results are up to God