Acts 10 - The Gentile Pentecost
JS - Today I once again had the privilege of guest hosting Dr. James White's "Dividing Line" broadcast. After informing people as to Dr. White's ministry schedule in South Africa we had a couple of surprising and dramatic Royal announcements, including the declaration of a 6th Sola of the Reformation. Thankfully, some sort of sanity was regained as we took a trek through Acts chapter 10, showing why it is one of the most significant chapters in the entire New Testament, revealing why Gentiles have full citizenship in the kingdom of God. Here's the show:
May We Meet in the Heavenly World: The Piety of Lemuel Haynes
If we view mankind as they come into the world, we shall then find them haters of God—enemies to God—estranged from God—nay, the very heart is enmity itself against all the divine perfections; and we shall find them acting most freely and most voluntarily in these exercises. There is no state or circumstance that they prefer to the present, unless it be one whereby they may dishonor God more, or carry on their war with heaven with a higher hand. They have no relish for divine things, but hate, and choose to remain enemies to, all that is morally good. Now, that this is actually the case with sinners, is very evident from the scriptures.
We are told in the chapter of which the text is part that that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit; which teaches us that here nothing truly spiritual or holy in the first birth, but that this comes by the second, or by the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Christ tells the Jews that they hated him without cause. And the inspired apostle says that “the carnal mind is enmity against god, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”. So, then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom 8:7-8).
See this is the state that mankind are in antecedent to the new birth, it is not fit or reasonable that God should bring them into favor with Himself, or be at peace with them, without regeneration. Nay, He cannot, consistent with His perfections, for this would be for Him to connive at wickedness when He tells us that He can by no means clear the guilty.
To suppose that sinners can see the kingdom of God or to be happy in the divine favor without regeneration or the new birth, is a perfect inconsistency, or contrary to the nature of the thing. The very essence of religion consists in love to God, and a man is no further happy in the favor of God than he loves God. Therefore, to say we enjoy happiness in God, and at the same time hate God, is a plan contradiction.
It is evident from scripture that those to whom God gives a title to his spiritual kingdom are regenerated or born again, and those that are not, and remain so, shall be miserable. This is not only asserted in the text by the Son of God, who was co-equal, co-eternal, and co-essential with the Father—whose words stand more permanent than the whole fabric of heaven and earth.
ENCOURAGE BY Paul Tripp
This is a life changer, consider it.
Let me present a model of confrontation that uses the word ENCOURAGE as an acrostic.
Examine your heart – Confrontation always begins with you. Because we all struggle with indwelling sin, we must begin with ourselves. We must be sure that we have dealt with our anger, impatience, self-righteousness, and bitterness. When we start with our own confession, we are in a much better place to lead another to confess.
Note your calling- Remember that confrontation is not based on your opinion of the person. You are there as an ambassador and your job is to faithfully represent the message of the King. In other words, your goal is to help people see and accept God’s view of them.
Check your attitude- When you speak, are your words spoken in kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, forbearance, compassion, and love? Failure to do this will hinder God-honoring, change producing confrontation. We need to examine both our message and our attitude as we speak.
Own your own faults- It is vital to enter moments of confrontation with a humble recognition of who we really are. As we admit our need for the Lord’s forgiveness, we are able to be patient and forgiving with the one to whom God has called us to minister.
Use words wisely- Effective confrontation demands preparation, particularly of our words. We need to ask God to help us use words that carry his message, not get in the way of it.
Reflect on scripture- The content of confrontation is always the Bible. It guides what we say and how we say it. We should enter moments of confrontation with a specific understanding of what Scripture says about the issues at hand. This means more than citing proof texts; it means understanding how the themes, principles, perspectives, and commands of Scripture shape the way we think about the issues before us.
Always be prepared to listen- The best, most effect confrontation is interactive. We need to give the person an opportunity to talk, since we cannot look into his heart or read his mind. We need to welcome his questions and look for signs that he is seeing the things he needs to see. We need to listen for true confession and the commitment to specific acts of repentance. As we listen, we will learn where we are in the confrontation process.
Grant time for a response- We must give the Holy Spirit time to work. There is nothing in Scripture that promises that if we do our confrontation work well, the person will confess and repent in one sitting. Rather, the Bible teaches us that change is usually a process. We need to model the same patience God has granted us. This patience does not compromise God’s work of change, but flows out of a commitment to it.
Encourage with the person with the gospel- It is the awesome grace of God, his boundless love, and his ever-present help that give us a reason to turn from our sin. Scripture says that it is the kindness of God that leads people to repentance (Romans 2:4). The truths of the gospel—both is challenge and its comfort—must color our confrontation.
Do We Believe or Does God Believe For Us?
Sometimes I hear our Arminian/Roman Catholic friends declare that if God freely gives us a new heart to believe then it is not us doing the believing but God doing the believing for us. Response: That is like saying that since God give us physical eyes to see that God is doing the seeing for us. My sight is the result of God's gift to me and my own use of the gift. God is not coercing me to see. I do so willingly. Likewise when God restores the heart to a regenerate state, we want what we want which is to believe in Jesus Christ. Most importantly, the effect of this truth is that is brings man to the dust, to strip him of all hope in himself. Only then is grace truly grace, not the reward for some condition I first meet, lest any man should boast (1 Cor 1:30-31).
Confessions of a Former Word of Faith Pastor
For quite some time, I was a pastor in the “word of faith” movement. On today’s "Dividing Line" show, I shared something of an insider’s guide, as well as the powerful biblical truths God used to alert me to the gross deception. How grateful I am to God for bringing me out! - John Samson
War of Words Part 2- Paul Tripp
Discover your roots- Luke 6:45 records one of the important things that Christ said about your communication.
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
When I was growing up, my parents would take us to family reunions on my mom’s side of the family. My mother’s brothers and sisters were all unbelievers. Whenever we went to one of these reunions, my parents would stay for the meal and then whisk us away before the drinking began.
At one reunion my mom was engaged in conversation and did not realize that my uncle had gotten drunk in another room, where he saying sexually provocative things about the women present in front of me and my brother Mark. When Mom realized what was happening, she ran in, grabbed our hands, and stuffed us in the car. On the way home she said, “There is nothing that comes out of a drunk that wasn’t there in the first place.” I will never forget those words.
We must begin by admitting that people and situations do not cause use to speak as we do. Our hearts control our words. People and situations simply provide the occasion for the heart to express itself. Humbly confessing this opens to you the floodgates of God’s forgiveness and power. “He is faith and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
War of Words by Paul David Tripp
I was once talking with a lady who had been married for many years. She was married to a person, who very honestly, I would have to say was a bad man. He was angry, controlling, and manipulative. He regularly said and did hurtful things. She, meanwhile, had dreamed of the ultimate husband and had gotten so embittered by the blessing of other women in her church that she said she could no longer go to worship. She felt as if God had forsaken her, so much that she couldn’t read her Bible or pray.
I wanted her to understand her identify in Christ and the love of the Lord. I wanted her to understand that God is a refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble, so I quoted a few passages to her that spoke of God’s amazing love, when, in the middle of the verse, she said, “Stop!” I looked up at her angry face. She said, “Don’t tell me any more that God loves me. I want a husband who loves me!” And she pounded her fist on her chair as she spoke.
I learned something that day. To the degree that you have based your life on something other than the Lord, to that degree God’s love and the hope of the gospel will not comfort you. You will not be comforted because you are hungry for another kind of bread. You long for a king who will give you the bread you crave. The bread might be a relationship, circumstance, or position. It might be human love and respect, the desire for vengeances, or a certain economic state. It literally can be anything in creation! But there are only two types of bread: Christ, the living bread, and everything else. We set our hearts either on him or something else.
What was the Reformation all about?
From Wittenberg, Germany, Dr. Steven Lawson is interviewed on the subject of the Reformation:
Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones on George Whitefield
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones' documentary on the life and times of the 18th Century preacher George Whitefield.
Seeing with New Eyes by David Powlison
Who is God?
What is it about God that fuels the application that we have just made? Many of the people we counsel live inside a black hole of self will, misery, and confusion. They need God to break in on their shadow land from which sin has erased the light of the personal and living God. Often without realizing it, people live as partial atheists, working themselves, their own will and opinions. The see God for within the black hole and he appears remote, irrelevant, and distorted.
When people think about God by instinct, not by revelation, they ask many of the wrong questions. Will he meet my felts needs? Will he be co-pilot in my life? Can I get him to make my day, my spouse, my kids, my health, and my finances work out? Is he like a rabbit’s foot? If I do my bit for God, will he do his bit for me? Is God capricious? Is it tough to figure out what he’s up to, or what he wants? Is it possible he might disappoint me? Might he even betray my trust? Is he “the man upstairs” to whom I pay my respects and dues? Is he sour tempered and displeased, a hard-edged taskmaster? Is he my true inner self? My higher power? Is he the theoretical uncaused cause and prime mover? Is God a happy feeling or an intense emotion? Is he an inhabitant of religiously toned activities?