Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Against Compromise - John Macarthur

It was Martin Luther who said:

"The world at the present time is sagaciously discussing how to quell the controversy and strife over doctrine and faith, and how to effect a compromise between the Church and the Papacy. Let the learned, the wise, it is said, bishops, emperor and princes, arbitrate. Each side can easily yield something, and it is better to concede some things which can be construed according to individual interpretation, than that so much persecution, bloodshed, war, and terrible, endless dissension and destruction be permitted.

"Here is lack of understanding, for understanding proves by the Word that such patchwork is not according to God's will, but that doctrine, faith and worship must be preserved pure and unadulterated; there must be no mingling with human nonsense, human opinions or wisdom.

"The Scriptures give us this rule: 'We must obey God rather than men' (Acts 5:29)."

It is interesting to speculate what the church would be like today if Martin Luther had been prone to compromise. The pressure was heavy on him to tone down his teaching, soften his message, stop poking his finger in the eye of the papacy. Even many of his friends and supporters urged Luther to come to terms with Rome for the sake of harmony in the church. Luther himself prayed earnestly that the effect of his teaching would not be divisive.

When he nailed his 95 Theses to the door, the last thing he wanted to do was split the church.

Yet sometimes division is fitting, even healthy, for the church. Especially in times like Luther's--and like ours--when the visible church seems full of counterfeit Christians, it is right for the true people of God to declare themselves. Compromise is sometimes a worse evil than division. Second Corinthians 6:14-17 isn't speaking only of marriage when it says,

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

O Great God - Sovereign Grace Praise

O great God of highest heaven
Occupy my lowly heart
Own it all and reign supreme
Conquer every rebel power
Let no vice or sin remain
That resists Your holy war
You have loved and purchased me
Make me Yours forevermore

I was blinded by my sin
Had no ears to hear Your voice
Did not know Your love within
Had no taste for heaven’s joys
Then Your Spirit gave me life
Opened up Your Word to me
Through the gospel of Your Son
Gave me endless hope and peace

Help me now to live a life
That’s dependent on Your grace
Keep my heart and guard my soul
From the evils that I face
You are worthy to be praised
With my every thought and deed
O great God of highest heaven
Glorify Your Name through me

MP3 here
Guitar Tab/Chords here

Off the Valley of Vision CD
You can purchase here

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

For me He died, For me He lives

I am unable to go to the Shepherd's Conference this year but have been able to listen a bit via the internet. The thing I miss the most is singing as loud as I can with 3000 other men doing the same. The Conference opened with the old classic hymn below. This hymn is the gospel put to music.

My hope is in the Lord Who gave Himself for me,
And paid the price of all my sin at Calvary.
For me He died, For me He lives,

And everlasting life and light He freely gives
No merit of my own His anger to suppress.

My only hope is found in Jesus’ righteousness.
For me He died, For me He lives,

And everlasting life and light He freely gives
And now for me He stands Before the Father’s throne.

He shows His wounded hands and names me as His own.
For me He died, For me He lives,

And everlasting life and light He freely gives
His grace has planned it all, ‘Tis mine but to believe,

And recognize His work of love and Christ receive.
For me He died, For me He lives,

And everlasting life and light He freely gives.

Hymn by Norman Clayton (1945)

You can listen in to the conference via a live stream here.