Sunday, December 30, 2007

“Blessed are the pure in heart" - Paul Washer

The word “pure” means “unstained” or “without mixture.” It points to a single-minded devotion to Christ—a passion that eclipses every other passion. This is the very opposite of a man’s heart prior to conversion and is also the opposite of the unconverted religious man’s heart. There is a sense that when a person is born again, purity of heart will be a reality because salvation is a supernatural work of God in which you become a new creature. It is a reality. While we have been changed there is also a sense in which we need to continue changing and in which we need to pursue a pure heart. We are to be diligent in guarding our hearts because everything else springs from the heart. If we do not guard our hearts we will be transformed by this world and conformed to it. A pure heart has no competing loyalties—it has one king and one law. When God saves a person He begins to destroy all the idols in that person’s life. If you belong to God, He will be constantly working to make you pure by tearing out all the idols from your life. He is the only one who can truly satisfy. At the same time we should be hard at work destroying all competing loyalties in our hearts. God will bless you with so many good things but at the same time He will make sure to guard you so that those things do not become idols in your life. And meanwhile you must be sure to guard yourself.

I can build a wall around my heart. Each truth is like a post in the ground and you can build a wall with these posts. I am to make a commitment to the Lord that whatever is contrary to these truths will not enter into my world. This is a guide to a pure heart. I do not just need to fill my heart with goodness but to also keep the garbage out.
  • What is good. This point and the next two are based on Romans 12:2 where we read that the will of God is good. Whatever is good can come through that fence. Whatever promotes my spiritual well-being and fence is permitted through that fence. If it will not do that it has no business in my heart, mind and life.
  • What is acceptable. We can only allow in those things that are acceptable to God as revealed in Scripture.
  • What is perfect. This has the idea of being complete. It is not partially true and partially false but wholly true and good.
  • What is true. This point and the next four are based on Philippians 4:8. The devil works primarily through the lie—he will kill you through the lie (“Did God really say…?”).
  • What is honorable. Whatever we allow into our lives must be honorable, dignified or serious; honest; respectable. We live in an age of joviality even within the church, but as Christians (though we can display and appreciate humor) there should also be a sense of seriousness about us.
  • What is right. It must be right—it must be according to divine law. Does it conform to God’s standard and God’s character?
  • What is pure. It must be pure and holy.
  • What is lovely. It must be lovely. Purity does not need to be ugly or sad. There should be an elegance, a loveliness, a beauty in your life.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Impact Midland Audio Blog - Truth

Welcome to Impact Midland. Today we are away from the studio visiting with Pastor Brian Fairchild. Brian it the pastor of Colonial Bible Church in Midland, Texas. In today’s program Brian and I will be discussing a very important subject, “Truth”. Truth is under attack by postmoderns. They would like you to believe that truth is not absolute but abstract. This lie has infiltrated the church and they have exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worship and serve the creature, (man) rather than the Creator who is blessed forever.

You can purchase the book "The Truth War" By Dr. John Macarthur here:

Sunday, December 23, 2007

My Thoughts on Christmas

Over the last few weeks I have given a lot of thought to what my family and I should be celebrating on Christmas. Sure it’s the birth of Jesus but friends it’s so much more. This Christmas as you give thought to the real meaning of this holiday think about who Jesus is. He is so much more than a babe in a manger.

Jesus is the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us,
Jesus is the reality that was once a shadow,
Jesus is the Light coming into the world,
Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory,
Jesus is the once for all time sacrifice,
Jesus is the God appointed heir of all things,
Jesus is the only one worthy to set at the right hand of God,
Jesus is the prince of peace,
Jesus is the name that is above every name
Jesus is the sovereign King of kings and Lord of lords,

The Gift of Gifts

O Source of all Good,What shall I render to Thee for the gift of gifts,
Thine own dear Son, begotten, not created,
my Redeemer, Proxy, Surety, Substitute,
His self-emptying incomprehensible,
His infinity of love beyond the heart's grasp.

Herein is wonder of wonders:
He came below to raise me above,
He was born like me that I might become like Him.

Herein is love;
when I cannot rise to Him He draws near on
wings of grace,
to raise me to Himself.

Herein is power;
when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart
He united them in indissoluble unity,
the uncreated and the created.

Herein is wisdom;
when I was undone, with no will to return to Him,
and no intellect to devise recovery,
He came, God-incarnate, to save me
to the uttermost,as man to die my death,
to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
to work out a perfect righteousness for me.

O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds,
and enlarge my mind;
let me hear good tidings of great joy,
and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose,
my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father,
place me with ox, ass, camel, goat,
to look with them upon my Redeemer's face,
and in Him account myself delivered from sin;
let me with Simeon clasp the new-born Child
to my heart,
embrace Him with undying faith,
exulting that He is mine and I am His.

In Him Thou hast given me so much
that heaven can give no more.


From the Valley of Vision a collection of Putitan prayers

Friday, December 21, 2007

Andrew Murray: Crucified With Him

Taken from Andrew Murray’s book, "Like Christ":

Taking up the cross was always spoken of by Christ as the test of discipleship. On three different occasions (Matt. 10:38; 16:24; Luke 14:27) we find the words repeated, “If any man will come after me, let him take up his cross and follow me.” While the Lord was still on His way to the cross, this expression—taking up the cross, was the most appropriate to indicate that conformity to Him to which the disciple is called.

At first sight the Christian who seeks conformity to Jesus is afraid of this truth: he shrinks from the painful suffering and death with which the thought of the cross is connected. As His spiritual discernment becomes clearer, however, this word becomes all his hope and joy, and he glories in the cross, because it makes him a partner in a death and victory that has already been accomplished, and in which the deliverance from the powers of the flesh and of the world has been secured to him. To understand this we must notice carefully the language of Scripture.

“I am crucified with Christ,” Paul says; “nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me”! Through faith in Christ we become partakers of Christ’s life. That life is a life that has passed through the death of the cross, and in which the power of that death is always working. When I receive that life, I receive at the same time the full power of the death on the cross working in me in its never-ceasing energy. “I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live; and yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me” (R.V.); the life I now live is not my own life, but the life of the Crucified One, is the life of the cross. The being crucified is a thing past and done: “Knowing this, that our old man was (R.V.) crucified with Him;” “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh;” “I glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world hath been (R.V.) crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” These texts all speak of something that has been done in Christ, and into which I am admitted by faith.

It is of great consequence to understand this, and to give bold utterance to the truth: I have been crucified with Christ; I have crucified the flesh. I thus learn how perfectly I share in the finished work of Christ. If I am crucified and dead with Him, then I am a partner in His life and victory. I learn to understand the position I must take to allow the power of that cross and that death to manifest itself in mortifying or (R.V.) making dead the old man and the flesh, in destroying the body of sin (Rom. 6:6).

For there is still a great work for me to do. But that work is not to crucify myself: I have been crucified; the old man was crucified, so the Scripture speaks. But what I have to do is always to regard and treat it as crucified, and not to suffer it to come down from the cross. I must maintain my crucifixion position; I must keep the flesh in the place of crucifixion. To realize the force of this I must notice an important distinction. I have been crucified and am dead: the old Adam was crucified, but is not yet dead. When I gave myself to my crucified Saviour, sin and flesh and all, He took me wholly; I with my evil nature was taken up with Him in His crucifixion. But here a separation took place. In fellowship with Him I was freed from the life of the flesh; I myself died with Him; in the inmost centre of my being I received new life: Christ lives in me. But the flesh, in which I yet am, the old man that was crucified with Him, remained condemned to an accursed death, but is not yet dead. And now it is my calling, in fellowship with and in the strength of my Lord, to see that the old nature be kept nailed to the cross, until the time comes that it is entirely destroyed. All its desires and affections cry out, “Come down from the cross, save thyself and us.” It is my duty to glory in the cross, and with my whole heart to maintain the dominion of the cross, and to set my seal to the sentence that has been pronounced, to make dead every uprising of sin, as already crucified, and so not to suffer it to have dominion. This is what Scripture means when it says, “If ye through the spirit do make to die (R.V.) the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Rom. 8:13). “Make dead therefore your members which are upon the earth.” Thus I continually and voluntarily acknowledge that in my flesh dwells no good thing; that my Lord is Christ the Crucified One; that I have been crucified and am dead in Him; that the flesh has been crucified and, though not yet dead, has been for ever given over to the death of the cross. And so I live like Christ, in very deed crucified with Him.
In order to enter fully into the meaning and the power of this fellowship of the crucifixion of our Lord, two things are specially necessary to those who are Christ’s followers. The first is the clear consciousness of this their fellowship with the Crucified One through faith. At conversion they became partakers of it without fully understanding it. Many remain in ignorance all their life long through a want of spiritual knowledge. Brother, pray that the Holy Spirit may reveal to you your union to the Crucified One. “I have been crucified with Christ;” “I glory in the cross of Christ, through which I have been crucified to the world.” Take such words of Holy Scripture, and by prayer and meditation make them your own, with a heart that expects and asks the Holy Spirit to make them living and effectual within you. Look upon yourself in the light of God as what you really are, “crucified with Christ.” Then you will find the grace for the second thing you need to enable you to live as a crucified one, in whom Christ lives. You will be able always to look upon and to treat the flesh and the world as nailed to the cross. The old nature seeks continually to assert itself, and to make you feel as if it is expecting too much that you should always live this crucifixion life. Your only safety is in fellowship with Christ. “Through Him and His cross,” says Paul, “I have been crucified to the world.” In Him the crucifixion is an accomplished reality; in Him you have died, but also have been made alive: Christ lives in you. With this fellowship of His cross let it be with you, the deeper the better: it brings you into deeper communion with His life and His love. To be crucified with Christ means freed from the power of sin: a redeemed one, a conqueror. Remember that the Holy Spirit has been specially provided to glorify Christ in you, to reveal within you, and make your very own all that is in Christ for you. Do not be satisfied, with so many others, only to know the cross in its power to atone: the glory of the cross is, that it was not only to Jesus, but is to us too, the path to life, but that each moment it can become to us the power that destroys sin and death, and keeps us in the power of the eternal life. Learn from your Saviour the holy art of using it for this. Faith in the power of the cross and its victory will day by day make dead the deeds of the body, the lusts of the flesh. This faith will teach you to count the cross, with its continual death to self. all your glory. Because you regard the cross, not as one who is still on the way to crucifixion, with the prospect of a painful death, but as one to whom the crucifixion is past, who already lives in Christ, and now only bears the cross as the blessed instrument through which the body of sin is done away (Rom. 6:6, R.V.). The banner under which complete victory over sin and the world is to be won is the cross.

Above all, remember what still remains the chief thing, It is Jesus, the living loving Saviour, who Himself enables you to be like Him in all things. His sweet fellowship, His tender love, His heavenly power, make it a blessedness and joy to be like Him, the Crucified One, make the crucifixion life a life of resurrection—joy and power. In Him the two are inseparably connected. In Him you have the strength to be always singing the triumphant song: God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world hath been crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Precious Saviour, I humbly ask Thee to show me the hidden glory of the fellowship of Thy cross. The cross was my place, the place of death and curse. Thou didst become like us, and hast been crucified with us. And now the cross is Thy place, the place of blessing and life. And Thou callest me to become like Thee, and as one who is crucified with Thee, to experience how entirely the cross has made me free from sin.

Lord, give me to know its full power. It is long since I knew the power of the cross to redeem from the curse. But how long I strove in vain as a redeemed one to overcome the power of sin, and to obey the Father as Thou hast done! I could not break the power of sin. But now I see, this comes only when Thy disciple yields himself entirely to be led by Thy Holy Spirit into the fellowship of Thy cross. There Thou dost give him to see how the cross has broken for ever the power of sin, and has made him free. There Thou, the Crucified One, dost live in him and impart to him Thine own Spirit of whole-hearted self-sacrifice, in casting out and conquering sin. Oh. my Lord, teach me to understand this better. In this faith I say, “I have been crucified with Christ.” Oh, Thou who loves’t, me to the death, not Thy cross, but Thyself the Crucified One, Thou art He whom I seek, and in whom I hope. Take me, Thou Crucified One, and hold me fast, and teach me from moment to moment to look upon all that is of self as condemned, and only worthy to be crucified. Take me, and hold me, and teach me, from moment to moment, that in Thee I have all I need for a life of holiness and blessing. Amen.

God Revealed Himself as the Word and by the Word

God has chosen to reveal himself as the Word and by the Word. John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word." Not in the beginning was the song, or in the beginning was the drama. God identifies his Son, who himself is God, as the Word. This is tremendously important. "In the beginning was the Word." The Son of God is the Word of God. He is God's communication to the world, God's Word.

The Place of Preaching in Worship - John Piper

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Reformation of the Pulpit - Dr. Steven Lawson

"The most urgent need in the Christian Church today is true preaching; and as it is greatest and most urgent need in the Church, it is the greatest need in the world also" D. Martin Lloyd-Jones

This is a paper written by Dr. Steven Lawson about biblical preaching. Is this the sort of preaching you get each Sunday morning?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Irrelevant Preaching - by Pastor Morris Brooks

The great pastor, who is still a pastor to pastors, the apostle Paul, distills for us the essentials of an eternally relevant ministry in Colossians 1:28-29. Listen to his words, "We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we might present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me." When we proclaim Christ and are admonishing and teaching every man so that they will become more like Christ, that is the epitome of relevant preaching. Why? Because it is Christ against whom we will ultimately be measured. He is the standard because He is the one who fulfilled all righteousness, He perfectly kept the law, He was absolute in His obedience. He is the one by which we are measured when we stand before God in preparation for our eternal state.

To read the entire article go to:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Gospel: Addressed to Young People by Paul Washer

"When men come before me in a pulpit and they tell me they want to share with me from their heart, the only thing I want to do is walk out the door. I'm SO TIRED of hearing from men's hearts and hearing from their minds and hearing from their opinions! What I want is for someone to stand back and preach to me about Jesus Christ! (I want) someone to tell me 'thus saith the Lord' and not apologize and preach with the authority of God about the subject they've taken." - Paul Washer

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Response to the Responce - A Common Word....

Recently there was a response made to an open letter sent “To leaders of Christian churches everywhere” by 138 Muslim scholars and clerics. The response made in no way represents, as the letter states “The worldwide Christian community”. This letter is a non Christian response and therefore could not represent anyone who is in Christ Jesus. The response was written by scholars at Yale Divinity School's Center for Faith and Culture and endorsed by approximately 300 other “Christian” theologians and leaders. Amongst the signatures you will find the names Rick Warren and Bill Hybels.

The people who signed ask forgiveness from Ar-Rahim, the all merciful one, a name for Allah, for sins committed against Muslims in the Crusades and the war on terror. As you read through the response letter it becomes evident that the authors and endorsers of the letter believe that the god of Islam and the God of Christianity are the same. This is a lie and I know from personal experience that Muslims would agree. I have yet met a Muslim that would agree that Jesus is God. No common ground here at all.

They go on to write that “the future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians”. This again is a lie. According to the bible Jesus Christ is our peace, apart from Jesus there can never and will never be true peace. According to these folks peace will come by compromise. Let’s take a little Islam and a little bit of Christianity and a bit of this and that and create a god that we can all worship together. The bible has a word for this, IDOLOTRY. Creating a god to suit yourself is idolatry. No common ground here at all.

The letter continues with quotes of Muhammad and Jesus. What struck me as I read this part of the letter was that it seemed that the authors would like you to believe that Muhammad and Jesus had equal authority. As a Christian who believes that Jesus is God there is no other authority under, in or above heaven. The Muslims that I know would not give Jesus equal authority as Muhammad. They would say Muhammad is THE messenger of god. No Common ground here at all.

John 1:1-14 states:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was  the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

It would appear that Rick Warren and Bill Hybels do not believe what the bible has to say about Jesus. He is God and there are no others!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Interview with Dr. Mark Dever, Executive Director of 9 Marks Ministries

Joining me in the studio today is Brian Farichild, pastor of Colonial Bible Church in Midland, Texas and Dr. Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC. Dr. Dever is also the Executive Director of 9 Marks Ministries.

You can listen to the interview here

Monday, September 10, 2007

Visit My New PodCast Web Site

I recently sold all of my ham radio gear and bought some pro audio equipment. I listen to a lot of podcast and wanted to give it a go myself. Right now I have a few interviews and readings from the Psalms and Valley of Vision.

You can go to to give a listen.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Last Night on Larry King

(Posted by Nathan Busenitz of Pulpit Magazine)

In case you missed last night’s Larry King Live episode (in which John MacArthur participated as part of a panel discussion toward the end of the show), you can read the transcript here.
Below are a couple highlights:

* * * *
KING: You’re definitely a fundamentalist Christian.

MACARTHUR: Yes, in the positive sense of proclaiming the fundamental truths of the Scripture.

KING: Is there a danger in some aspects of fundamental Christianity?

MACARTHUR: No, I don’t think there’s any danger in it. I think there’s a danger in the prostitution of Christianity. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.”
Jesus said to Peter, “Put away your sword.”
There’s nothing in Christianity that calls for any kind of dominant power, national power, government power, takeover, war, none at all. This is about a personal relationship with God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

KING: But so many of the fundamentalist Christians are what might be called political hawks, aren’t they?

MACARTHUR: They are. And that is not, in my judgment, a true representation of biblical Christianity.

* * * *
MACARTHUR: . . . the [political] power will never belong to me [or to] those who represent true biblical Christianity because the Kingdom advances one soul at a time through the belief in the Gospel in Jesus Christ. Anything [else] is a prostitution. Look, the New Testament says the powers that be are ordained of God. That was the word of God to people living under Roman government, under a Caesar. Don’t overthrow that power. That’s what God has put in place. We work within that to advance the Kingdom one person at a time.

KING: Barry?

[BARRY] LYNN: See, I would disagree with that. That is a literal belief. Many of us do not have a literal belief in the words of the — not God written and produced but man written and produced Holy Bible for Christians.

MACARTHUR: Well, there’s the huge divergence right there.

LYNN: That’s a huge difference. It is a huge divergence, but it’s one of the things that makes the Christian community and many of the other communities we’re talking about here very diverse and very different.

MACARTHUR: Barry, if you don’t believe the words of the Bible, then you can’t be legitimately called a Christian because that’s all the Christianity there is, [it] is what is revealed in the word of God, not the Christianity you can invent outside of the meaning of Scripture.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Total Depravity by Jim Lawless

As many of you all know I am a preacher’s kid, something that I am very proud of and thankful for. I am especially thankful that my dad was an expositor. He preached word by word, verse by verse and chapter by chapter. He did this for 50 years and then the Lord took him home. I am so thankful for the influence my dad’s preaching had on my life and I am so thankful that the Lord has led me to a men’s bible study where Gods word is taught the way it was meant to be taught and I am thankful that He led me to a church where God’s word is preached the way God intended it to be preached.

It was not that long ago that I was online doing some research and decided to go to Google and do a search on my dad’s name. This is something I do occasionally to see if my name shows up. I typed his name in the search box and began to sort through the hits and lo and behold there he was. Now, this really excited me because my dad has been with the Lord for 4 years now and it’s really nice to see something that he wrote on the internet. Here is what I found:


Total Depravity by Jim Lawless
Justification by Richard Hooker
On Christian Life by John Calvin
On Prayer by John Calvin
Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin

There it was a document I knew he had worked on but I had never seen the finished work and it was along side other doctrinal documents by Hooker and Calvin. Folks that is good company!

I encourage you to read the entire document. Here is an excerpt:

We ought not to give up upon them because of this truth. Say, "Well I've witnessed enough. Let me wash my hands and walk away." If you will study the history of our great missionaries like Carey, and Judson, and Elliot, and Patton and others, you will see that the thing that kept them there amidst years of the lack of any kind of response was the confidence of knowing that God in His time saves sinners, and it is only our job to be stewards of the grace of God, to bring the message of truth, to be faithful in our labors and not give up on the hardness of men's hearts. Only God opens their hearts. This ought to affect our evangelism, our message, and our method. Faith and repentance have to be gifts of God. Walter Chantry (Man's Will - Free Yet Bound) said, "Man's will is not his hope." Any gospel preaching that relies upon an act of the human will for the conversion of sinners has missed its mark. Any sinner who supposes that his will has the strength to do any good accompanying salvation is greatly deluded and far from the Kingdom unless God does something. No hope of saving change can come. We cannot make the tree good, only God can. We do not have to resort to manipulation, we do not have to water down the Gospel to make it palatable, we do not have to defend it, we have only to proclaim it. And proclaim it faithfully, and to wait upon the Lord of glory who saves whom He will. What great encouragements the doctrine of Total Depravity should bring to our hearts as we trust in the power of a sovereign God to save.

Total Depravity is a foundational doctrine. In God's plan of salvation, if you err here, it will be seen in how you preach the law, and how you preach the Gospel, and how you direct sinners to Christ, and how you pray, and how you live, and how you worship. Total Depravity leads inevitably to Unconditional Election, Particular Redemption, Effectual Calling, Irresistible Grace, and the Perseverance of the Saints.

What does Total Depravity teach. "Tis not that I did choose Thee, for Lord that could not be; this heart would still refuse Thee, hadst Thou not chosen me. Thou from my sins have saved me; for Thy rich grace I thirst; this knowing if I love Thee, Thou MUST have loved me first."

Let us give thanks for the grace of God in the light of such a terrible condition.

Dios Le Bendiga,
Jim Lawless

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Enemy Within

Sponsored by Christian Life Center and Colonial Bible Church

The Enemy Within
Straight talk about the power and defeat of sin.

A conference with Christian Speaker and Author: Kris Lundgaard

Kris Lundgaard has distinguished himself as a true auxiliary to the church of Jesus Christ. As an author Kris has served us well in his modernization and amplification of John Owen's works entitled The Mortification of Sin & and Indwelling Sin in Believers. It is our hope that these messages will help believers to put sin to death through the power that God has provided while becoming increasingly conformed to the image of Jesus.

5:30-6:30PM Fellowship Dinner
6:30-8:30PM Sessions 1&2

8:30AM Doors open – Continental breakfast
9:00am – Noon Sessions 3&4

Session 1 – The Purpose and Place of Mortification
Session 2 – The Game is Rigged: We Will Win!
Session 3 – What’s Wrong With the Enemy Within?
Session 4 – Cultivating and awareness of the Love of God

Please let me know if you would like to attend and I will make sure that you get registered.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ephesians Bible Study Lesson 1

After reading and rereading the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians I am finally ready to begin this bible study. I seek, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to explain this letter verse by verse and I pray that your life will be enriched by it.

1. Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:

Paul’s apostleship is his source of authority and it is further validated “By the will of God.” Paul can, with authority, say listen up church at Ephesus “Thus says the Lord.”

Paul was not interested in what he had to say but what the Lord had to say through him. As Paul said in writing to the Corinthians, he was one who spoke “not in words taught…by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit.” This is important because it means that the letter Paul wrote is not to be regarded as other books but as God’s own revelation. This is the word of God and it needs to be handled very carefully. There is so much that so many pastors can learn by this. The pastor MUST be able to stand before his flock every time he stands behind the pulpit and say with authority the same thing, “Thus says the Lord”. The pastor that cannot say that should sit down and stop causing further harm to the flock that has been entrusted to him. It’s time for preachers to stop the story telling or feel good sermons or teaching the latest pop psychology and start preaching the WORD of GOD. The pastor is instructed to feed and protect the sheep not pet the sheep.

The letter is written to the “Saints” and “The faithful in Christ Jesus.” We find in this very short phrase is the essence of what a Christian is. Martyn Lloyd-Jones calls it the “irreducible minimum of what constitutes a Christian.”

Christians are “Saints”
Christians are “The faithful”
Christians are “In Christ Jesus”

The word saint means to be set apart, to be set apart for God by God. If we are truly set apart, if we are truly a Christian, we have a new nature, a new set of loyalties, a new agenda, and we belong to a different kingdom. The Puritan intentionally sought to be different from everyone else. The Puritan purposed to apply God’s word to every facet of their lives. This is what set them apart and what gave them the title “Puritan”.

“The faithful” has two meanings. First, it is an exercise of faith that one is saved. The Christian has heard the Gospel and by God’s grace has faith in that gospel or believes it. Second it has the meaning of perseverance; it means to continue in faith. The Christian is faithful to the end.

The words “In Christ Jesus or In Him” are used some 164 times in Paul’s writings. It’s used 9 times in just these first few verses. The words describe the union that a Christina has with Christ. The bible uses numerous images to teach us about this union we have. In Eph. 5:22-23 you have the union between a man and a woman in marriage. In John 15:1-17 we see the union between the vine and the branches. In Eph 2:20-22 we have the temple where Christ is the foundation and individuals are the stones. In 1 Cor. 12:12-27 the union between the head and the other members of the body. John Murray wrote, “Union with Christ has as its source in the election of God the Father before the foundation of the world and it has its fruition in the glorification of the sons of God. The perspective of God’s people is not narrow; it has the expanse of eternity. Its orbit has two foci, one the electing love of God the Father and the counsels of eternity, the other the glorification with Christ in manifestation of His glory. The former has no beginning and the later had no end..

Apart from Christ our condition is absolutely hopeless; In Him our condition is glorious to the extreme.


Father of Jesus,

Dawn returns, but without thy light within
no outward light can profit;
Give me the saving lamp of thy Spirit that I may
see thee,
the God of my salvation, the delight of my soul,
rejoicing over me in love.
I commend my heart to thy watchful care,
for I know its treachery and power;
Guard its every portal fro the wily enemy,
Give me quick discernment of his deadly arts,
Help me to recognize his bold disguise as an
angle of light,
and bid him begone.
May my words and works allure others to the
highest walks of faith and love!
May loiters be quickened to greater diligence
by my example!
May worldlings be won to delight in acquaintance
with thee!
May the timid and irresolute be warned
of coming doom by my zeal for Jesus!
Cause me to be a mirror of they grace,
to show others the joy of thy service,
May my lips be well-tuned cymbals
sounding thy praise,
Let a halo of heavenly-mindedness
sparkle around me
and a lamp of kindness sunbeam my path.
Teach me the happy art of
attending to things temporal
with a mind intent on things eternal
with a mind intent on things eternal.
Send me forth to have compassion
on the ignorant and miserable.
Help me to walk as Jesus walked,
my only Savior and perfect model,
his mind my inward guest,
his meekness my covering garb.
Let my happy place be amongst the poor in spirit,
my delight the gentle ranks of the meek.
Let me always esteem others better than myself,
and find in true humility
an heirdom to two worlds.

Valley of Vision, Banner of Truth page 248.

Friday, March 30, 2007

A Word for Our Day From James Montgomery Boice

I would like to see the beginning of a new reformation in our day, and I hope that you would like to see it too and are praying for it. I hope that you have become nauseated with the tawdry entertainment that passes for the true worship of God in many of our churches and, like the saints of the past, are longing for more of the deep truths of the inerrant Word of God. We certainly need a reformation.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pastor Jim Lawless


Psalms 19:7-10


This Psalm is difficult for modern people to understand because it confronts the prevailing idea that the Law of God is dead, destructive, and damning. Paul in Romans 7:12 makes a statement which should be carefully considered by every Christian, "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." The Law of God is holy because it is appointed by God for a specific purpose. The Law of God is just because it does not play any favorites. The Law of God is also good because it has accomplished the purpose for which it was, and is, intended. For this reason this Psalm is of utmost importance in understanding how the righteous person of the Old Testament is not so far from the righteous person of the New Testament.



"THE LAW OF THE LORD IS PERFECT,” - We need to understand something here. At the time this Psalm was written, the only Scripture that the people had was probably the Law of God or the Law of Moses. Therefore the statements made here concerning the "Law" can well be applied to the entire Scripture as we know it, both the Old and New Testaments.

In this portion of the Psalm, we have the Bible known by a particular description and then an application which rises from that description. The first is that the bible is "perfect". The Hebrew word has more the meaning of “completeness”. While God's Word is perfect in the absolute sense, when dealing with the written record we call the Bible, it might be better to use the idea of "complete". In the Bible we have the COMPLETE Word of God. It needs no help, no augmentation, no further expansion, or new discipline in order to meet the spiritual need of mankind. It is a real shame how that well meaning people have bought into the idea that God needs help from other sources to handle the world’s problems. It is a good indication of just how far the spiritual health of our people has sunk.

"CONVERTING THE SOUL:" - Here the "completeness" of the Scriptures is applied to the necessity of being converted. That is, the soul of man is "restored" to its place before the God who created it. Man fell from a place of fellowship and peace with Almighty God. His conversion, then, restores him to that former place he had before the fall. While the circumstances surrounding all of mankind is not the same as the first man enjoyed, there is the "sure hope" in the restoration being complete one day when God ushers in the Eternal Order. Hence the first benefit is "Conversion".

“THE TESTIMONY OF THE LORD IS SURE,” - The second description is concerned with the message of the Bible. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to mankind. As such, then, it is His Testimony concerning Himself, His Character, His Attributes, and His Actions. The best any other source of knowledge about God can do is just to show His Presence. That is not enough for a person to be able to serve God. When "natural revelation” is all that there is, the result is man-made religion and idolatry. The Scriptures give us an adequate enough understanding of God to be able to live for Him and to live with Him.

"MAKING WISE THE SIMPLE." - The Bible has the capacity to do what eating the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden could not do. From Adam and Eve in the garden this idea of a man’s wisdom has been the greatest point of contention. In Genesis we see that this was at the root of the very first sin. In Genesis 3:6 it says, "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." Many of the trees of the garden no doubt were “good for food", many were also most likely "pleasant to the eyes", but only one was "desirable to make one wise". The second benefit is "Wisdom".


"THE STATUTES OF THE LORD ARE RIGHT," - One of the attributes of God is that He is Righteous. This means, among other things, that He is always right. Since the Scriptures reflect the very character of God, then the Scripture also is always right. They are correct in every single command that is given. Even the passing of time has not dulled them one bit. God charges mankind with His kind of life and man can do no wrong as long as he walks in the ways of the Lord.

"REJOICING THE HEART:" - David said this. Paul said this. Every true child of God knows that the end result of facing the impossible task of keeping the Law in order to come up to God's expectations for man, we have utterly failed, BUT this failure has led some of us to fall back upon God's marvelous Mercy and find salvation. Nothing makes the heart rejoice like being at peace with Almighty God.

"THE COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD IS PURE," - Without admixture or error, the Laws of the Lord are completely trustworthy to tell exactly how God looks at something. Either it is sin or it is righteousness. Adam and Eve thought that they could find a shortcut to this kind of understanding in eating of the tree in the midst of the Garden, but it led to their sin and the downfall of mankind. They found, sadly, that there was no way to circumvent the commandment of God, therefore, it was pure.

”ENLIGHTENING THE EYES." - Real knowledge and real wisdom come from a thorough acquaintance with God's Word. Later we will study a verse in Psalm 119 which deals exactly with this concept. The Word of God gives Spiritual light to a sin darkened soul.


"THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS CLEAN," - It is interesting to note that the "fear of the Lord" is here listed with the attributes of the Scriptures. It teaches a man to be aware of the fact that God is always watching and listening to every thought, word, or acts and has the perfect right to judge that thought, word, or act at any time He sees fit. In Its being clean, the Bible intends us to understand that it requires a holy separation from all uncleanness.

"ENDURING FOR EVER:" - The Law of God is permanent. There are those who try to preach and teach that Christ, in fulfilling the Law, did away with it. However, the Law of God is just as much in force today as it ever was, if not more so, since the Christian now has the Holy Spirit to give guidance and wisdom in dealing with sin. The Law of God is just as alive as He Himself is, and many preachers and teachers need to understand that.

"THE JUDGMENTS OF THE LORD ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS ALTOGETHER." -What God has decided is right! He needs no input from either Angels or us. The Kingdom of Heaven is not a Democracy. It is a Theocracy in which God rules and reigns absolutely. If Angels totally failed in rebellion, then mankind is doomed to failure in his own petty rebellion.


"MORE TO BE DESIRED ARE THEY THAN GOLD, YEA, THAN MUCH FINE GOLD:" - Now the Word of God is compared to many of the things which man holds to be valuable to him. The first is the one thing which, for most men of the world, is held to be the first priority of their lives, gaining wealth. Yet the Psalmist says that the Word of God is much more desirous than even a veritable treasure chest of gold. The impression is that all the gold in the world would not take the place of God's Word in its benefit to a man. In other words, salvation cannot be bought.

"SWEETER ALSO THAN HONEY AND THE HONEYCOMB." - Then the Word of God is compared to one of the most prized delicacies in the Biblical world. Many people do not see much favor in the diet of John the Baptist, locusts and wild honey, but it was sufficient to give him much strength and health for a very rigorous life. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." Obviously these pleasant words are from God's Book.


God's Word is complete, perfect, and meets every contingency which man can possibly face in his life. Since God is the One who created all things, He is also the One who is in control of all things. Also, since He is aware of all things, He has been able to anticipate, in our frame of reference, all things. The Bible never was outdated, is not now outdated, and never will be outdated. Nothing which man has invented, is inventing, and will invent has not already been woven into the grand Plan of God. In short, the Bible is The Word for all men at all times.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Broken and Spilled Out - Steve Green

One day a plain village woman
Driven by love for her Lord
Recklessly poured out a valuable essence
Disregarding the scorn
And once it was broken and spilled out
A fragrance filled all the room
Like a prisoner released from his shackles
Like a spirit set free from the tomb

Broken and spilled out
Just for love of you, Jesus
My most precious treasure
Lavished on thee
Broken and spilled out
And poured at your feet
In sweet abandon
Let me be spilled out
And used up for Thee

Lord you were God's precious treasure
His loved and his own perfect Son
Sent here to show me the love of the Father
Just for love it was done
And though you were perfect and holy
You gave up yourself willingly
You spared no expense for my pardon
You were used up and wasted for me

Broken and spilled out
Just for love of me Jesus
God's most precious treasure
Lavished on me Broken and spilled out
And poured at my feet
In sweet abandon
Lord you were spilled out
And used up for me

In sweet abandon
Let me be spilled out
And used up for Thee