Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Treasure that Turns Other Treasures to Garbage

John Piper

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.

Paul has a way of playing your game, winning, and then saying the game is bunk. He does it, for example, in 2 Corinthians 11:21-12:11 where he lists his "superior" achievements and then says, "I have been a fool! You forced me to it" (2 Corinthians 12:11). In other words, I can play your game of measuring myself by your standards, win, and then call it all worthless. It is fool's play.

He does it again here in Philippians 3. He warns the church to watch out for the evildoing dogs who mutilate the flesh (people who insist on circumcision as a way of getting right with God). The problem with these people is that they "put confidence in the flesh"-that is, they bank on their works for justification (vv. 2-3, cf. v. 9).

So Paul says, OK let's play that game for a moment. And then he lists his works of the flesh and knocks his opponents out of the ring with legal achievements. "If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more." Indeed he does.

Then come three of the best verses in all the Bible. In essence: the victory I just won in the contest of the flesh is a pile of garbage (the Greek is sku,bala, v. 8). And the reason he uses such a strong word (refuse!) is that the alternative is Christ. Compared to Christ being the greatest Pharisee of his time was foul garbage.

But that is too vague. He is not vague. He does not say simply that compared to Christ legal achievements are garbage; he is more specific. He says that what is superior to moral and religious achievements is 1) knowing Christ, 2) gaining Christ, and 3) being found in Christ.

1. Knowing Christ. "Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord" (v. 8). "Knowing" here is not just knowing the fact that Jesus is Lord. It is the kind of knowing that prompts the phrase, "my Lord"! He knows the supreme Lord of the universe (see 2:9-11) as his Lord. So there are two aspects to Paul's passion for Christ here. One is the rational and relational knowledge of the greatest person in the universe. Paul's mind and heart are full of Christ. The other is that he belongs to Christ as subject to the all-ruling, all-protecting Lord. This is better than being at the top of any human heap.

2. Gaining Christ. "For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ" (v. 8). "Gain" means get all that Christ is for us in heaven, not just on earth. Paul has already said, "To live is Christ and to die is gain" (v. 21), because "to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better" (1:23). And he is about to say, "I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own" (3:12). So it is clear that part of what makes human achievement a pile of garbage compared to Christ is that soon (and very soon!) he is going to meet the king-in a way far more full and intimate and stunning and satisfying than anything he has known here. And he has known so much of Christ here that the garbage verdict has been rendered on that alone.

3. Being found in Christ. ". . . and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith" (v. 9). Paul was overwhelmed by the fact that "in Christ"-that is, united to Christ by faith alone-he possessed a righteousness that was infinitely better than all his legal achievements could ever be. Paul knew he needed a righteous life in order to be accepted by God and in order to enjoy all the glories of Christ forever. He did not have such a righteousness in himself. He needed the free gift of righteousness from God himself. God gave it to him in Christ.

Therefore Jesus Christ was both the treasure he cherished and the one who provided the right to have the treasure. In Christ alone Paul had a right to know and gain Christ. And that is all he wanted. That is the gospel. This is what we mean by treasuring Christ together. Christ alone is the ground of our acceptance with God and the goal of our heart's desire. He is our righteousness and our reward. Compared to him (knowing him, gaining him, being found in him) all else is garbage.

Treasuring Christ together with you,

Pastor John

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: Email: Toll Free: 1.888.346.4700.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Full armor of God

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:12-13)

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What is the full armor of God?

The phrase “full armor of God” comes from a passage in the New Testament: "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:13-17).

Ephesians 6:12 clearly indicates that the conflict with Satan is spiritual, and therefore no tangible weapons can be effectively employed against him and his minions. We are not given a list of specific tactics he will use. However, the passage is quite clear that when we follow all the instructions faithfully, we will be able to stand, and we will have victory regardless of his offense.

The first element of our armor is truth (vs. 14). This is easy to understand, since Satan is said to be the "father of lies." (John 8:44). Deception is high on the list of things God considers to be abominations. A “lying tongue” is one of the things He describes as “detestable to Him” (Proverbs 6:16-17). He clearly states that no liar will be admitted into heaven (Revelation 22:14-15). We are therefore exhorted to put on truth for our own sanctification and deliverance and for the benefit of those to whom we are a witness.

Also in vs. 14 we are told to put on the breastplate of righteousness. A breastplate would shield a warrior from a fatal blow to the heart and other critical organs. This righteousness is not works of righteousness done by men—though these are certainly a hedge of protection when used against the reproaches and accusations we suffer at the hands of the enemy. Rather, this is the righteousness of Christ, imputed by God and received by faith, which guards our hearts against the accusations and charges of Satan, and secures our innermost being from his attacks.

Verse 15 speaks of the preparation of the feet for spiritual conflict. The modern soldier needs to pay particular attention to his feet as well as the ancient soldier. Sometimes the ancient enemy would place dangerous obstacles in the path of advancing soldiers. This is much like the land mines of today. Also disease can damage the feet of a soldier who is without proper footwear. The idea of the preparation of the gospel of peace as footwear suggests what we need to advance into Satan's territory with the message of grace so essential to winning souls to Christ. Satan has many obstacles placed in the path to halt the propagation of the gospel.

The shield of faith spoken of in vs. 16 makes ineffective Satan's assault of sowing doubts in regard to the faithfulness of God and His Word. Our faith—of which Christ is the author and perfecter (Hebrews 12:2)— is like a golden shield, precious, solid, and substantial; and like a shield of mighty warriors, by which mighty things are done, and by which the believer not only repels, but conquers the enemy.

The helmet of vs. 17 protecting the head is, again, to keep viable a most critical part of the body. We could say that our way of thinking needs preservation. The head of the soldier was among the principal parts to be defended, as on it the deadliest strokes might fall, and it is the head that commands the whole body. The head is the seat of the mind, which, when it has laid hold of the sure Gospel “hope” of eternal life, will not receive false doctrine, or give way to Satan’s temptations to despair. The unsaved person has no hope of warding off the blows of false doctrine because his mind is incapable of discerning between truth and falsehood.

Verse 17 interprets itself in regard to what is meant by the sword of the Spirit. While all the rest is defensive in nature, here is the only offensive weapon in the armor of God. It speaks of the holiness and power of the Word of God. A greater spiritual weapon is not conceivable. In Jesus' temptations in the desert, the Word of God was always His overpowering response to Satan. What a blessing that the same Word is available to us!

Praying in the Spirit (that is, with the mind of Christ, with His heart and His priorities) as in vs. 18 is the culmination of what is involved in arraying ourselves and in utilizing all the aforementioned armor of God. It is significant that this passage of Scripture is so true to the priorities of ministry highlighted throughout Paul's epistles; he holds prayer as most essential element to spiritual victory and maturity. How sincerely he requests it for himself as well (vs. 19-20).

Sunday, January 27, 2008


“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)

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What a wonderful verse to ponder upon... How much in today's Christianity is about a man, and how little about God... We are constantly bombarded with messages of "getting better" once we "choose" God. Prosperity Gospel is everywhere. Your best life is supposedly right now, and you are supposedly the centre of the universe. God is only a nice uncle in the sky, waiting patiently to satisfy your whims. Really?

You are but a corn of dust in His hand, human. You are nothing without Him. Don't you see? Isn't it the only proper way to realize it and act accordingly? Nothing depends on you, so stop patting yourself on the back and smirking.
He's holding whole world in His hand... and He is going to hold you, too. Bow to the Creator of all.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Goal of God's Love May Not Be What You Think It Is

By John Piper

Do people go to the Grand Canyon to increase their self-esteem? Probably not. This is, at least, a hint that the deepest joys in life come not from savoring the self, but from seeing splendor. And in the end even the Grand Canyon will not do. We were made to enjoy God.

We are all bent to believe that we are central in the universe. How shall we be cured of this joy-destroying disease? Perhaps by hearing afresh how radically God-centered reality is according to the Bible.

Both the Old and New Testament tell us that God's loving us is a means to our glorifying him. "Christ became a servant ... in order that the nations might glorify God for his mercy" (Romans 15:8-9). God has been merciful to us so that we would magnify him. We see it again in the words, "In love [God] destined us to adoption ... to the praise of the glory of His grace" (Ephesians 1:4-6). In other words, the goal of God's loving us is that we might praise him. One more illustration from Psalm 86:12-13: "I will glorify your name forever. For your lovingkindness toward me is great." God's love is the ground. His glory is the goal.

This is shocking. The love of God is not God's making much of us, but God's saving us from self-centeredness so that we can enjoy making much of him forever. And our love to others is not our making much of them, but helping them to find satisfaction in making much of God. True love aims at satisfying people in the glory of God. Any love that terminates on man is eventually destructive. It does not lead people to the only lasting joy, namely, God. Love must be God-centered, or it is not true love; it leaves people without their final hope of joy.

Take the cross of Christ, for example. The death of Jesus Christ is the ultimate expression of divine love: "God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Yet the Bible also says that the aim of the death of Christ was "to demonstrate righteousness, because in the forbearance of God he passed over the sins previously committed" (Romans 3:25). Passing over sins creates a huge problem for the righteousness of God. It makes him look like a judge who lets criminals go free without punishment. In other words, the mercy of God puts the justice of God in jeopardy.

So to vindicate his justice he does the unthinkable - he puts his Son to death as the substitute penalty for our sins. The cross makes it plain to everyone that God does not sweep evil under the rug of the universe. He punishes it in Jesus for those who believe.

But notice that this ultimately loving act has at the center of it the vindication of the righteousness of God. Good Friday love is God-glorifying love. God exalts God at the cross. If he didn't, he could not be just and rescue us from sin. But it is a mistake to say, "Well, if the aim was to rescue us, then we were the ultimate goal of the cross." No, we were rescued from sin in order that we might see and savor the glory of God. This is the ultimately loving aim of Christ's death. He did not die to make much of us, but to free us to enjoy making much of God forever.

It is profoundly wrong to turn the cross into a proof that self-esteem is the root of mental health. If I stand before the love of God and do not feel a healthy, satisfying, freeing joy unless I turn that love into an echo of my self-esteem, then I am like a man who stands before the Grand Canyon and feels no satisfying wonder until he translates the canyon into a case for his own significance. That is not the presence of mental health, but bondage to self.

The cure for this bondage is to see that God is the one being in the universe for whom self-exaltation is the most loving act. In exalting himself - Grand Canyon-like - he gets the glory and we get the joy. The greatest news in all the world is that there is no final conflict between my passion for joy and God's passion for his glory. The knot that ties these together is the truth that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. Jesus Christ died and rose again to forgive the treason of our souls, which have turned from savoring God to savoring self. In the cross of Christ, God rescues us from the house of mirrors and leads us out to the mountains and canyons of his majesty. Nothing satisfies us - or magnifies him - more.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: Email: Toll Free: 1.888.346.4700.

Friday, January 25, 2008


“ Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

I warmly recommend

If you take a look at my sidebar, you notice some links to other places on the Internet. Some of them are friends, some are to sites that inspire my studies, but there is one very special, to a site about a country far away and almost forgotten by everybody. Our brothers and sisters in this country die for believing in Christ. They are tortured, beaten, starved, persecuted - all in agreement with the country's law.
Please go and read this blog. Please pray for North Korea.

House of Chosun

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


“ "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Take Up Thy Cross

1. "Take up thy Cross," the Savior said,
"if thou wouldst my disciple be;
deny thyself, the world forsake,
and humbly follow after me."

2. Take up thy cross, let not its weight
fill thy weak spirit with alarm;
his strength shall bear thy spirit up,
and brace thy heart and nerve thine arm.

3. Take up thy cross, nor heed the shame,
nor let thy foolish pride rebel;
thy Lord for thee the cross endured,
to save thy soul from death and hell.

4. Take up thy cross and follow Christ,
nor think till death to lay it down;
for only those who bear the cross
may hope to wear the glorious crown.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Water, Spirit and John MacArthur

ESV John 3:3 Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
ESV John 3:4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"
ESV John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

ESV Ezekiel 36:24 I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land.
ESV Ezekiel 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
ESV Ezekiel 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
ESV Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
ESV Ezekiel 36:28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

I love this. Simple "Scripture interprets Scripture"-rule, applicable even here. While listening to John MacArthur's podcast I heard this, and had to put it in writing. The argument used by Catholics as well as by certain baptism cultists, that is so beautifully refuted by OT. The Christian institution of Baptism was not yet there when Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus. The Jews of that time did not speak about birth waters, either. But Ezekiel provides us with a clear explanation.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Spurgeon Devotionals


“Abel was a keeper of sheep.”

- Genesis 4:2

As a shepherd Abel sanctified his work to the glory of God, and offered a sacrifice of blood upon his altar, and the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering. This early type of our Lord is exceedingly clear and distinct. Like the first streak of light which tinges the east at sunrise, it does not reveal everything, but it clearly manifests the great fact that the sun is coming. As we see Abel, a shepherd and yet a priest, offering a sacrifice of sweet smell unto God, we discern our Lord, who brings before his Father a sacrifice to which Jehovah ever hath respect. Abel was hated by his brother-hated without a cause; and even so was the Saviour: the natural and carnal man hated the accepted man in whom the Spirit of grace was found, and rested not until his blood had been shed. Abel fell, and sprinkled his altar and sacrifice with his own blood, and therein sets forth the Lord Jesus slain by the enmity of man while serving as a priest before the Lord. “The good Shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep.” Let us weep over him as we view him slain by the hatred of mankind, staining the horns of his altar with his own blood. Abel’s blood speaketh. “The Lord said unto Cain, ‘The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.’“ The blood of Jesus hath a mighty tongue, and the import of its prevailing cry is not vengeance but mercy. It is precious beyond all preciousness to stand at the altar of our good Shepherd! to see him bleeding there as the slaughtered priest, and then to hear his blood speaking peace to all his flock, peace in our conscience, peace between Jew and Gentile, peace between man and his offended Maker, peace all down the ages of eternity for blood-washed men. Abel is the first shepherd in order of time, but our hearts shall ever place Jesus first in order of excellence. Thou great Keeper of the sheep, we the people of thy pasture bless thee with our whole hearts when we see thee slain for us.


“Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.”

- Psalm 119:37

There are divers kinds of vanity. The cap and bells of the fool, the mirth of the world, the dance, the lyre, and the cup of the dissolute, all these men know to be vanities; they wear upon their forefront their proper name and title. Far more treacherous are those equally vain things, the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches. A man may follow vanity as truly in the counting-house as in the theatre. If he be spending his life in amassing wealth, he passes his days in a vain show. Unless we follow Christ, and make our God the great object of life, we only differ in appearance from the most frivolous. It is clear that there is much need of the first prayer of our text. “Quicken thou me in thy way.” The Psalmist confesses that he is dull, heavy, lumpy, all but dead. Perhaps, dear reader, you feel the same. We are so sluggish that the best motives cannot quicken us, apart from the Lord himself. What! will not hell quicken me? Shall I think of sinners perishing, and yet not be awakened? Will not heaven quicken me? Can I think of the reward that awaiteth the righteous, and yet be cold? Will not death quicken me? Can I think of dying, and standing before my God, and yet be slothful in my Master’s service? Will not Christ’s love constrain me? Can I think of his dear wounds, can I sit at the foot of his cross, and not be stirred with fervency and zeal? It seems so! No mere consideration can quicken us to zeal, but God himself must do it, hence the cry, “Quicken thou me.” The Psalmist breathes out his whole soul in vehement pleadings: his body and his soul unite in prayer. “Turn away mine eyes,” says the body: “Quicken thou me,” cries the soul. This is a fit prayer for every day. O Lord, hear it in my case this night.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rejoice, the Lord Is King

1. Rejoice, the Lord is King!
Your Lord and King adore;
mortals, give thanks and sing,
and triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart,
lift up your voice; rejoice;
again I say, rejoice.

2. Jesus the Savior reigns,
the God of truth and love;
when he had purged our stains,
he took his seat above.
Lift up your heart,
lift up your voice; rejoice,
again I say, rejoice.

3. His kingdom cannot fail;
he rules o'er earth and heaven;
the keys of earth and hell
are to our Jesus given.
Lift up your heart,
lift up your voice; rejoice,
again I say, rejoice.

4. Rejoice in glorious hope!
Jesus the Judge shall come,
and take his servants up
to their eternal home.
We soon shall hear
th'archangel's voice; the trump of God
shall sound, rejoice!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Do so:

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.” (Philippians 2:14-16)

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

One word is causing a world of controversy

The Mormon community, as well as outsiders, is abuzz over a slight change to the latest edition of the Book of Mormon.
Local Mormon faithful appear to be unswayed by the change, while those who already questioned the validity of the community’s religious claims are using the controversy to bolster their stance against the religion.
A Mormon scholar has called the hubbub “nonsense,” while an Arizona State University religious scholar said the change appears to be a nod to science.
All this over five letters. But those letters, the word “among,” could signal a bigger change than it seems.
The change is in the second paragraph of the introduction to the 2006 Book of Mormon, the most recent printing of the book published by Doubleday. The last sentence of that paragraph, which discusses the fate of ancient civilizations, stated in previous editions that the Lamanites, a nation of people that originated in Jerusalem, “are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.”

Read on...
there is also a very informative video there, so I recommend this article warmly.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Live by the Spirit

“ So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Galatians 5:16)

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Domestic Missions

by Charles Hodge

I. The object of domestic missions is to supply the destitute portions of our own population with the institutions of the gospel. There are two methods of doing this. The one is by itinerant preachers. This method was the one originally adopted in our church, and continued until a recent period of our history. The object of such itinerants was partly, to preach to the scattered population who had no opportunity to attend any place of stated worship; and partly, to organize new churches by gathering scattered members and ordaining officers over them, and thus to put them in the way of getting a minister for themselves. The other method of conducting the work of missions is to aid feeble churches in sustaining a pastor. This method, with us, has almost superseded the other. There is no reason why they should not be combined. Neither, of itself, is sufficient. Dr. C. C. Jones, when secretary of the Board of Missions, acted on the plan of aiding a church for a few years, and then abandoning it, if it did not become self–supporting. This was a disastrous policy. There are great practical difficulties in this work, because no central Board can know the necessities of every locality, and the judgment of presbyteries so often influenced by special regard to their own field and neglect of the wants of other portions of the country; they are influenced also by natural sympathy with their own members.

II. Who are to perform this work? Whose duty is it to see that the gospel is sustained among the people? There are two different principles on which the Church has been divided. The one is that the duty of sustaining the gospel in any one place, rests on the people of that place. This is natural, or at least plausible. The support of the municipal officers of a town or borough rests exclusively on the people of the town. It is their concern, and the concern of no one else. The same is true also of the poor. It seems unreasonable that people of one town should contribute to the support of the minister of another. This principle would be the right one provided,

1. The people felt the necessity for a minister as they do that of municipal officers, and

2. Provided the interests at stake were those of the people of that place exclusively. But neither of these things are true, and, therefore, this plan if rigorously carried out would be destructive. The other principle is that the obligation to sustain the gospel rests upon the Church as a whole. The command is to preach the gospel, i.e., secure its being known, everywhere. This is the true principle,

1. Because all the considerations, except those which are personal and family, which bind us to support the gospel in one place, apply to all others. The gospel is necessary everywhere. Men will perish without the knowledge of it. The honor of Christ is promoted by the conversion of souls everywhere. The interests of morality, religion, and social order, and national prosperity are as much concerned in having the gospel in one place as in another.

2. The gospel cannot spread, and will not be sustained on the other plan. People will not send for it, nor support it.

3. The Church acts on this principle among the heathen.

4. The most aggressive and prosperous denominations act on it.

5. The state has been forced to act on it in matters of education.

6. The permanence, power and spiritual welfare of our church is deeply concerned in this.

III. Reasons why we should devote more energy to Domestic Missions.

1. The general reasons of the command of Christ, the value of the soul, and the necessity of religion to social and national prosperity.

2. The special reason of the greatness of the work. Compare this work in England and Scotland with the work here. The extent of the country and the sparseness of the population render it specially difficult, and therefore demanding zeal.

3. The rapid increase of our population; it is outrunning the means of supply.

4. The certainty that error and vice will prevail, if the gospel be not preached and sustained.

5. The importance of the forming period of a nation’s life, and the permanency of the original type. Illustrations.

6. All other good enterprises depend on this.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

O Come, All Ye Faithful

1. O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold him, born the King of angels;
O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him,
O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

2. True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal,
lo, he shuns not the Virgin's womb;
Son of the Father, begotten not created;

3. Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation;
O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest;

4. See how the shepherds, summoned to his cradle,
leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;
we too will thither bend our joyful footsteps;

5. Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger,
we would embrace thee with love and awe.
Who would not love thee, loving us so dearly?

6. Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning,
Jesus, to thee be all glory given.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing:

Saturday, January 12, 2008

This video is so important. It was born yesterday, with a wee bit help of yours truly ;)

Dr. James R. White is explaining essentials here. For us, believers - things we know well. For Muslims - big news.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Obstacles to the Eternal Life of Muslims

by John Piper

Paradoxically, hatred and tolerance are teaming up to
take eternal life from Muslim people. Jesus said - and we say it with
tears - "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does
not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him"
(John 3:36). In other words, nominal Christians, devoted Muslims, pious
Hindus, faithful Buddhists, orthodox Jews, devout animists, sincere
agnostics, secular atheists - everyone who does not hold fast to Jesus
Christ as the supremely valuable Son of God and Savior - will perish
and not have eternal life. "He who has the Son has life; he who has not
the Son of God has not life" (1 John 5:12).

Whatever obscures this message for Muslim people obstructs their way to
eternal life. For them Christ is a prophet, but not the divine Son of
God who said, "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58). For Muslims Jesus
is not the Savior who died for their sins and said, "I am the way, and
the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me" (John
14:6). Unless Muslims - and all others who deny Christ's deity - hear
and embrace the good news that "the fullness of deity" dwells in Jesus
(Colossians 2:9), they will be without eternal hope. This has always
been true, but today things are different. Two seemingly opposite
forces gather to block the gospel from Muslim minds.

First, there is the fire of hatred, fanned by the flames of September 11.
Second, there is a twisted tolerance fed by the fear of man.

My son called me from Chicago to say that one of his Muslim friends had
been beaten on the street. No reason. He just looked like one of
"them." The spirit of revenge against Muslims in our nation these days
is indiscriminate. Rage boils just beneath the surface. This is not the
way of Christ. He calls his people to suffer for the sake of love, not
seethe with the fire of hate. "Christ suffered for you, leaving you an
example, that you should follow in his steps. When he was reviled, he
did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he
trusted to him who judges justly" (1 Peter 2:21-23).

Hatred from Christians keeps Muslims from seeing the superior worth of
Jesus Christ. The spirit of revenge sends the false signal that Christ
is not an all-sufficient, all-satisfying Savior. We justify our own
little jihad, and seek our satisfaction by injuring the adversary. But
true Christians treasure Jesus above vengeance, and do not rob Muslim
people of truth and hope in this way. Christians would rather suffer to
show the supreme worth of Christ. They crucify the craving of hate in
their own hearts. They long for Muslims to see Jesus for who he really
is. They know that eternal life is at stake - for both.

In reaction against indiscriminate hate there is now a stampede to
pluralism and twisted tolerance. If Muslims are hated, then let us call
ecumenical gatherings, and let us all praise the virtues of Islam, and
the wisdom of Allah and the goodness of Mohammed. But let no one speak
the intolerable and indispensable truth that Jesus is the only way to

Once upon a time tolerance was the power that kept lovers of competing
faiths from killing each other. It was the principle that put freedom
above forced conversion. It was rooted in the truth that coerced
conviction is no conviction. But now the new twisted tolerance denies
that there are any competing faiths; they only complement each other.
It denounces not only the effort to force conversions, but the very
idea that any conversion may be necessary for eternal life. It holds
the conviction that no religious conviction should claim superiority
over another.

When Muslims are protected from hate with this "tolerance," they are
cut off from eternal life. And what promises deliverance proves to be
death. If, in the name of this new tolerance, we are forbidden to say
of Jesus, "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other
name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts
4:12), then eternal life is concealed and we are cruel.

Therefore let us open the door of life for all Muslim people by
renouncing hate, showing love, conquering fear, commending the King of
the universe, Jesus Christ, and suffering willingly, if we must.

Praying with you for a stunning breakthrough,
John Piper

Monday, September 25, 2006

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thy Kingdom Come

By Charles Hodge

The kingdom of God or of Christ in the New Testament, means in general that kingdom of the Messiah which the prophets in the Old Testament predicted should be established John the Baptist, therefore, as the forerunner of Christ, announced that the kingdom of God was at hand. Christ’s kingdom was then established, and is frequently spoken of as consisting of those who recognized Christ as their king. As this recognition was either cordial or merely outward, and when cordial was also outward, the phrase came to designate the community of true believers as such, and the community of professed believers, consisting of the sincere and the insincere. As the kingdom of Christ, however, in this world is imperfect; or, in other words, as the authority of Christ is both limited in extent here on earth, and is only partially recognized even by his true disciples, the Scriptures often speak of the kingdom of Christ as still future; that is, as the time being still future, when his royal authority shall be universally recognized, and when it shall extend over the whole earth. According to one view, this is to take place before the resurrection and general judgment; according to another, it shall be after these events. Those again who adopt the former view are of two classes. First, those who look for a universal Church, a millennial prosperity of true religion, under the present dispensation of the Spirit; who think that the heathen are to be converted, the Jews restored, and religion universally to prevail, in the use of the means of grace now in force. Second, those who hold that this dispensation of the Spirit is merely preparatory; that little will be accomplished towards the conversion of the world until Christ shall come the second time. This second advent is personal and visible. He will establish his throne in Jerusalem; the Jews shall return to their own land, and acknowledge him as their Messiah; all nations shall be converted, and the Jews with Christ shall reign over all the earth in great external splendor and prosperity for a thousand years. This is the kingdom of Christ for whose coming they wait and pray. According to the common Church doctrine, what we pray for when we say Thy kingdom come, is that the authority of Jesus Christ as king shall be universally recognized, and his control over all hearts shall be absolute, and all evil be banished, and that consummation be reached which is called the kingdom of glory. That is, they pray for the state described by Paul when he says that all enemies shall be put under his feet.

The recognition of Christ as king includes,

1. So far as we are concerned, his absolute proprietorship in us and sovereignty over us as God manifest in the flesh; a proprietorship and sovereignty founded, 1st. On the right of creation. 2d. On the right of gift. 3d. On the right of redemption. This includes authority over the reason, the conscience, the affections, and the life.

2. Subjection to his will, or obedience to his laws, whether relating to moral, religious, social or political duties.

3. Devotion to his service; loyalty to him, i.e., love for his person, zeal for his honor, and consecration to the promotion of his kingdom, is the characteristic principle of those who constitute his true subjects.

4. Reliance on his protection, his ability to subdue all his and our enemies and to secure the best interests of all his subjects. To doubt his power or his willingness thus to protect and bless, is disloyalty. Now when Christ’s kingdom comes in the individual soul, he is saved; when it is established in the souls of those constituting any community they have attained all the benefits of his reign, which are to be enjoyed in this life. lend when all nations shall be subdued, and Christ reign established over all people and in every heart, the work of redemption will be accomplished, and the everlasting of our Lord shall be inaugurated in all its blessedness and glory. The great end of life, therefore, the only thing worth living for is, to secure the reign of Christ in our own souls, and to bring others to call him Lord.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Some kind of resolution

... to be a better steward of my health, to go to bed early and have a decent night's sleep once at a time...
Honestly, I feel exhausted and drained today, and it is only by force of duty that I am pushing myself through the day.
I want too much too quickly, and it takes time from my sleep, unfortunately, because the possibility of full concentration during the day does not exist.
Some prayers?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Holy God, We Praise Thy Name

1. Holy God, we praise thy name;
Lord of all, we bow before thee;
all on earth thy scepter claim;
all in heaven above adore thee.
Infinite thy vast domain;
everlasting is thy reign.

2. Hark the glad celestial hymn
angel choirs above are raising;
cherubim and seraphim,
in unceasing chorus praising,
fill the heavens with sweet accord:
Holy, holy, holy Lord.

3. Lo! the apostolic train
joins thy sacred name to hallow;
prophets swell the glad refrain,
and the white-robed martyrs follow.
And from morn to set of sun,
through the church the song goes on.

4. Holy Father, Holy Son,
Holy Spirit: three we name thee,
though in essence only one;
undivided God we claim thee,
and adoring bend the knee
while we own the mystery.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Good Bye, Tree!

It is this time again, Christmas is over, time to return to reality of everyday-life and clean up the house after the festivities. A bit early this year, but I realized that if I don't get to it today, the tree will be here another week, due to my hectic schedule...
Bye bye!

Saturday, January 05, 2008


“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

listen to chapter (Read by Max McLean. Provided by Zondervan.)

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The music video for the song "I Can Only Imagine" by "Mercy Me"

Friday, January 04, 2008

My blog motto

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

listen to chapter (Read by Max McLean. Provided by Zondervan.)

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For those who don't know me: I am a person who loves to learn. A day without learning is a wasted day, and when circumstances draw me away from learning, I despair. My passion for the Word of God has become the most important passion of my love. In an effort to make up for the past years of disbelief I swallow the knowledge in big chunks, almost running to get it.
So what I pray for is this: to have the time and opportunity to learn, every day, a little bit of Reformed Theology, Church History, Bible Studies - to grow, to progress, to eat solid food.
God is Good and He provides these moments. All for His Glory.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Doctrine of the Trinity

How Many Persons are There in the Godhead?

There are Three Persons in the Godhead: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; And These Three are One God, the Same in Substance, Equal in Power and Glory.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


May this New Year be peaceful and rich in blessings. May it be the time of Truth and Gospel for many. May God in His Mercy grant salvation to all that I love.
May my prayer life get better and deeper, and may my family life find even more strength in my faith. May His Will be done.