New Testing Phase

Friday, 24 December 2010

Athanasius, On the Incarnation of the Word

athana1For this purpose, then, the incorporeal and incorruptible and immaterial Word of God entered our world. In one sense, indeed, He was not far from it before, for no part of creation had ever been without Him Who, while ever abiding in union with the Father, yet fills all things that are. But now He entered the world in a new way, stooping to our level in His love and Self-revealing to us. He saw the reasonable race, the race of men that, like Himself, expressed the Father's Mind, wasting out of existence, and death reigning over all in corruption.

He saw that corruption held us all the closer, because it was the penalty for the Transgression; He saw, too, how unthinkable it would be for the law to be repealed before it was fulfilled. He saw how unseemly it was that the very things of which He Himself was the Artificer should be disappearing. He saw how the surpassing wickedness of men was mounting up against them; He saw also their universal liability to death. All this He saw and, pitying our race, moved with compassion for our limitation, unable to endure that death should have the mastery, rather than that His creatures should perish and the work of His Father for us men come to nought,

He took to Himself a body, a human body even as our own.... This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished because, having fulfilled in His body that for which it was appointed, it was thereafter voided of its power for men. This He did that He might turn again to incorruption men who had turned back to corruption, and make them alive through death by the appropriation of His body and by the grace of His resurrection. Thus He would make death to disappear from them as utterly as straw from fire.

-- Athanasius, On the Incarnation of the Word

Source: 9Marks

Saturday, 20 November 2010

God takes away the creature!

  Diogenes noted the folly of the men of his time--that they undervalued the best things--but overvalued the worst things. Ah, that this were not the sin and shame of professors in these days!
God sometimes strips His people of their nearest and dearest earthly mercies--that they may the more prize, and the better taste--of spiritual and heavenly mercies!
  God takes away uncertain riches--that His people may the more prize certain riches!
God takes away natural strength--that His people may the more prize spiritual strength!
  God takes away the creature--that His people may more prize their Saviour.
Spiritual and heavenly things can alone satisfy the soul. The language of a godly man is this, "Ah, Lord! the good earthly things which I have from You, though they may refresh me--yet they cannot satisfy me without Yourself!"

 

(Thomas Brooks, "A Believer's Last Day, His Best Day")
NPG D26860; Thomas Brooks

Quote taken from Grace Gems

Friday, 19 November 2010

RC Sproul on the Church


The church is the most important organization in the world. It is the target of every demonic, hostile attack in the universe. Jesus personally guaranteed that the gates of hell will never prevail against the church. He made no guarantee that the gates of hell would not be unleashed against it, however. —RC Sproul

Thursday, 18 November 2010

How To Stop Sinning

Sermon by Clint Archer

Title: How To Stop Sinning

Text: Ephesians 4:22-24

Date: 20 June 2010

Download here


Source: baptistchurchhillcrest.com

Theocracy - Absolution Day

Ever heard of this band? Neither had I till a couple of months ago. They have 2 clear things that make me like them.

  1. The music, although falling within the metal genre, is both progressive (i.e they play their instruments and experiment with longer songs and jams) and clear (i.e its not just a big noise, you can always hear what the guy is singing) which is brilliant. Speaking as a muso myself this is great.
  2. This is more to the point, they are profoundly biblical and gospel centered. As an example to this I invite you to watch and consider the video below:


A transcript of the lyrics can be found here
Here is an extract from part of the song:

No priest can say I'm worthy
No sacraments or holy laws
can take my sin away
No church can wash my spirit clean
For the scarlet stain that paints my soul to sleep
Runs way too deep

No blessed holy water
Can sanctify me in the eyes of God
The great I AM
But He has made provision
To lift me up and wash me in the blood
Of the spotless Lamb
Lovely stuff and very biblical. Now granted most people I know would probably not listen to this type of music, and me neither as a rule. Nevertheless with solid biblical lyrics, its great music and worth listening to.

The band's site can be found here www.theocracymusic.com/
Also check out the wiki page, there are some free (mostly Christmas) music for download wikipedia.org/wiki/Theocracy

Saturday, 13 November 2010

HBC Mission's Conference

All you need is in the download link

However the date for the event is the 27th & 28th of November

Click here to download it

God bless

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Sin or no Gospel

mc_largeSome might correctly think that this is a strange title for a blog post, and possibly it is, however is does the job for setting out the topic of this post.

I am sure that almost every westerner who reads this will have heard of the phrase ‘All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’ Romans 3 vs 23. Here is a typical example of what I mean:

God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. But there is a problem, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So accept Jesus and pray the following prayer…

Ok, while not deconstructing this entire unbiblical presentation, I want you to focus on the ‘for all have sinned’ part.

This is my contention: any Gospel presentation that makes the (biblical) claim that all have sinned without explaining exactly what:

  1. sin is
  2. why it is so personal
  3. Offensive to the Holy God

Is not a true gospel presentation at all. Why? Because the Gospel demands a response. The bible says that sinners must REPENT and put their FAITH in Jesus. Here is the problem, repent of what? We (Christians) have repented of our personal sins against the Holy God of the universe. But just telling sinners that all have sinned leaves the potential convert without the ability to repent, because he or she doesn’t know what to repent of nor why.

acts3_19

THE SOLUTION

Preach the Law (10 Commandments)

1Jn 3:4  Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.

This verse tells us exactly what sin is, namely lawlessness, or as another translation puts it, transgression of the Law. So by telling sinners what sin is (breaking God’s Law) we fulfil half our task, the other half is to make it personal. It is effective and biblical to hold up the Law as a mirror, showing sinners just how dirty they are, show them that they have lied, stolen, committed adultery through lust etc. make it personal.

Then they can understand what sin is, repent of it and be saved.

To God alone be the glory

rRepent

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Just a little quote by one Charles Haddon Spurgeon

spurgeon1 “Defend the Bible? I would just as soon defend a lion. Just turn the Bible loose. It will defend itself.”

 

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Cornerstone Young Adults Retreat








Hi friends, as you may be aware, Hillcrest Baptist Church Cornerstone (young adult) group will be hosting an camp. Here are the details

The theme is:
Biblical Manhood & Womanhood in an Unbiblical Neighbourhood

Clint Archer and Andrew Zekveld will teach a series of sessions focusing on biblical gender roles with contemporary applications for in the home, church, and society.

Date: Friday July 30th- Sunday August 1st
Cost: R300 includes accommodation and all meals
Place: The amazingly beautiful...Glenhaven in Underberg, Southern Drakensberg, KZN

Space is limited, so dont delay sign up today....
queries/ sign ups email kerry.drew@gmail.com

Click here is a link to the Facebook page

And here is the form that needs to be filled out.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

The Valley Of Vision: Self Deprecation


I came across this tonight, it is from The Valley Of Vision, A Collection Of Puritan Prayers & Devotions. Basically a Puritan prayer book. This prayer truly is my own tonight

Self-Deprecation

O Lord, My every sense, member, faculty, affection, is a snare to me,
I can scarce open my eyes but I envy those above me, or despise those below me.
I covet honour and riches of the mighty, and am proud and unmerciful to the rags of others;
If I behold beauty it is a bait to lust, or see deformity, it stirs up loathing and disdain;
How soon do slanders, vain jests, and wanton speeches creep into my heart!
Am I comely? what fuel for pride!
Am I deformed? what an occasion for repining!
Am I gifted? I lust after applause!
Am I unlearned? how I despise what I have not!
Am in authority? how prone to abuse my trust, make will my law, exclude others' enjyments, serve my own interests and policy!
Am I inferior? how much I grudge others' pre-eminence!
Am I rich? how exalted I become!
Thou knowest that all these are snares by my corruptions, and that my greatest snare is myself.
I bewail that my apprehensions are dull, my thoughts mean, my affections stupid, my expressions low, my life unbeseeming;
Yet what canst thou expect of dust but levity, of corruption but defilement?
Keep me ever mindful of my natural state, but let me not forget my heavenly title, or the grace that can deal with every sin.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Terms and Phrases: The Meaning of Words

WORDS HAVE MEANINGS

I realise that Christianity in general and theology in particular has many technical terms which may seem like absolute Greek to anyone else listening in. Evangelical phrases can be both useful and harmful, especially when spoken to a non-Christian who either gets a fuller understanding about Christianity or as is usually the case, are left totally lost wondering ‘what on earth that crazy guy mean by…’ Evangelical lingo is for another day and another post, what concerns me here is the theological technical terms that I have used and will continue to use on this blog. I plan to update this post as time goes on and if you’re ever still not sure, ask in the ‘comment’ section.

Theology: broken up into the two Greek words from which it comes we have theos which means ‘God’ and logos which means word or study. Thus theology is the study of God. This means who He is, what He has done, what does He expect from us and a whole host of other questions. In the case of Christianity, where the bible which informs us as to what we believe about God, I would flesh out the definition to: The study of the doctrines of God. For the moment this will definition will be my working definition.

Doctrine: Dictionary.com defines doctrine in this way: ‘a particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated, as of a religion or government.’ This seems to be an excellent definition. However to adapt it to Christianity, I would say that. Doctrine is a set of teachings taken from the bible that orders our understanding.

Scripture: The bible

Systematic Theology: Takes all the theological doctrines and puts them in a neat and proper order. This is to allow anyone to be able to give a good account of Christianity. Think of it like this. Life is a desk and theology is everything on it. Without Systematic Theology everything is in a big pile, but with Systematic theology, everything is neat and in order such that if you need something, it is easily to hand. Systematic Theology also refers to a branch of theology taught by theological schools and seminaries.

Orthodox: There are two meanings to this word, first Orthodox refers to a denomination within the Christian Church. They split from Roman Catholic Church in 1054, predating the Protestant Reformation but several hundred years. I will deal with their distinctives at another time. The second meaning is the one which I will use throughout this blog. Orthodox means ‘Right Doctrine’ The following is taken from Wikipedia. ‘The term “Orthodox” translates from the Greek to mean “correctly believing” or "correctly glorifying" (from the adjective orthos = correct, right and the verb dokein = seem (to be the case)’ In other words, if I say that you are Orthodox, that means you believe the right correct essential doctrines. Orthodoxy refers to the realm of orthodox. For example, if you believe a certain doctrine you are within orthodoxy (you are orthodox), if not, then you are outside orthodoxy (not orthodox).

Orthopraxis: This is means ‘right action’ or ‘right response’. The idea is that orthopraxis flows out of orthodoxy.

Heresy: A doctrine that, if believed, puts you outside of orthodoxy and thus not a Christian. We would call people who believe such doctrine heretics. Most Heretics claim to be Christian but because of the false teaching are in fact not. It is important to note that not all false teachings are heresy but all heresy is false teaching. Discerning between the two will be subject for later posts. For a working definition of heresy I use the following: A false doctrine that if believed, will lead that person to hell.


That’s all for now, many many more to follow

Saturday, 15 May 2010

To Be A Christian


"What is it to be a Christian?"

1. To be a Christian--is to depart from iniquity.
2. To be a Christian--is to deny yourselves and take up the cross and follow Christ.

- Samuel Davies, 'The Sacred Import of the Christian Name'"

Thursday, 13 May 2010

TULIP


I wrote out this summary for my own purposes a while ago, and thought you might find it useful:
TULIP

TULIP is an acronym used by Calvinists to represent the primary tenants of calvinistic theology, also known as the doctrines of Grace. Although it is not the be-all-end-all of this form of theology, nevertheless this is what makes calvinists distinct from Arminianism.

T - Total Depravity
U - Unconditional Election
L - Limited Atonement
I - Irrisistable Grace
P - Perseverance of the Saints

Total Depravity refers to our moral state before the Holy God. We are neither perfect nor good, nor even neutral, but totally depraved before God. In fact even our righteous deeds are described as filthy rags before God (Isa 64:6).
Unconditional Election refers to God's call on those who people He chooses to save. Because of our total depravity not one single person ever (except Jesus Christ) deserves any kind of favour from God, neither earned nor unearned. But, because of His grace, God calls some people to salvation. Not only that, but it isn't earned or kept on the basis of anything we do, but rather it is unconditional or based on grace.
Limited Atonement refers to Christ's death on the Cross. That work provided an attonement or payment for our sins. The important word in the previous sentence is OUR. Christ's death provided attonement only for Elected Saints as discribed above. When it is all said and done, not one tiny iota of this attonement will be wasted on sinners who refuse to repent and put their faith in Christ. To put it another way Christ died only for those that He elected by grace dispite their total depravity.
Irrisistable Grace - This refers to the fact that a person who is an elected saint of God, has no ability or desire ro resist that grace. To put it another way, Every person that God has elected, will come to repentance, in accordance with God's sovereign will and timing. No person who has been attoned for will not repent and no person who has no attonement, being left in Total Depravity, can or will repent.
Perseverance Of The Saints - refers to the fact that, because of the previous points, no person once they have been saved from Total Depravity, will return to that state. This is not the same as the doctrine called 'once saved, always saved' which is similar, but different enough for us to considder it false, but rather it says that if any person, elected by God to salvation, they will perseve in the faith. It also says, that those people who used to confess Christ, but don't now, what we commonly call backsliders, are in reality fakers, false converts, they never really slid forward in the first place. That means that they were never Christians even if they say they were. The elected saint, on the other hand, although he may stumble and fall, yet he never ever would leave the faith, but continue to persevere in the Lord

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Grace Gems

Surely the history of mankind must then appear like the annals of hell--or the biography of devils! Then the mask of deceit will be torn off--and men will appear in their true characters. Their hearts will be, as it were, turned outwards--and all their secrets exposed to full view! - Samuel Davies, "The Universal Judgment!"

Monday, 5 April 2010

Prayer



"Prayer is the pulse of life; by it the doctor can tell what is the condition of the heart. The sin of prayerlessness is a proof for the ordinary Christian or minister that the life of God in the soul is in deadly sickness and weakness." - Andrew Murray

Friday, 2 April 2010

Isaiah 53: Jesus death, as described 700 years before His birth

Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. As many were astonished at you-- his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind-- so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand. Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned--every one--to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. (from the ESV)

Monday, 1 February 2010

New Church


I have just moved from a my old church to a Reformed Baptist congregation in Hillcrest

If you live in or around Durban, and have a Reformed theology, then I would strongly suggest that you come to this Church. The main reason why I chose this church, initially was because of its Bibliology. A google search for churches in Durban, along with the word "expository" put HBC as the first result. Within the website were the words along the lines of "We are committed to Expository Preaching."

In case you are not sure, expository preaching is where the sermon is based on and focused around unpacking a verse of scripture. This is as apposed to topical preaching, where the preached chooses a topic (for example 'love') then chooses verses to go with that. Verses exposited range from 1 or 2 words, to a whole chapter at a time. Usually at HBC, no more than 3 or 4 verses are preached through at a time.

The Pastor's name is Clint Archer. He is a man of God and a gifted preacher. It is so so so good to hear the gospel, the actual gospel preached from the pulpit.

Here is the website for the church Click Here

I can say in all honesty that God is very kind to lead me here

Are You A Good Person

Are you a good person?