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