The Wolf’s Teeth-Feminism

 

What To Do?

What should you do as elders of the flock? Allow me to be specific.

1. Teach Biblical principles about gender relationships. Don’t expend all your energies reacting negatively to feminist agitators in your local church or community or even in your denomination; rather, as elders you must teach positively and clearly, and insist that your preacher do so from the pulpit as well. The fundamental Biblical truths regarding male and female role relationships in marriage, home, church and society. Of course, from the distortions evident in the way feminists rework crucial Biblical doctrines, it becomes clear that accurate and foundational knowledge of Biblical doctrine is essential to combat this and every attack of Satan. The prophet was right: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” So, teach your people a full and balanced diet of Biblical Truth!

2. Don’t overreact. Not all of God’s people who have been influenced by a feminist agenda embrace all of the planks of the platform of Gender Feminism. In fact, some are righteously caught up in a pursuit of Biblical justice; they have merely adopted dangerous words and concepts because these folks; each currency of today’s debate. Be patient with these folks; teach that that “ideas have legs,” that much of today’s rhetoric arises from thoroughly unbiblical notions. Express those invisible notions.

3. Use women and their God given gifts Biblically and appropriately in the life of the church. One theologian once observed that “cults are the unpaid debts of the church,” that cults arise where the church has failed to be thorough in her obedience. If that is true of cults, it is surely true of feminism. It has arisen in no small measure because appropriate ministry by women in the life of the church has been stymied, often by mere tradition and certainly in conflict with Scripture. For instance, 1 Cor. 14:33 clearly prohibits women from preaching (the literal meaning of the verse suggests a prohibition, not of speech itself, but of “being the speaker” i.e., the preacher. See also 1Pet. 4:11). That does not mean that a woman may not be used wisely and appropriately to speak or teach under the Biblical supervision of the eldership within a Sunday School class. Again, the 1 Tim 2:12 prohibition against a woman “having authority over a man” does not require men to chair every single committee within a local church, nursery committee included! Rather, the text prohibits the usurping of authority, particularly within the context of authoritative teaching.

4. Make sure the “careers” of wives and mothers are honoured within your home and your church fellowship. Nothing combats feminism in our society and within our churches more effectively then the careful articulation of the high view of these roles in Scripture. To be sure, you may not convert a rabid Gender Feminist by referring to Eph. 5:22, but you will surely encourage godly women (and instruct godly men!) when you hold high the role of a wife as a gift of God who is a life-partner in the work of the kingdom, and that of a mother as a precious instrument in God’s hand for the nurture and shaping of the next generation of His own servants, complete with prophetic, priestly and royal duties.

 “With a Shephard’s Heart” Reclaiming the Pastoral Office of Elder
by John R. Sittema (PP.75-76) 

Creation Moments: (NEW) Does the Fossil Record Support Evolution?

 

Image result for CREATION MOMENTS ICON

And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. – Luke 19:40

Ask evolutionists what they consider to be the single most important evidence for Darwinism, and you’ll hear them give many different answers. But the one answer we hear most often is: “the fossil record.”

Does the fossil record really support evolution? Creationists know that it actually supports biblical creation! In fact, the fossil record is a rock-solid testament in stone that billions of creatures all over the world drowned in the rising waters of the worldwide flood of Noah’s time. Apparently, Charles Darwin himself realized he was unable to use the fossil record to support his theory.

On his Evolution: The Grand Experiment DVD, creationist Dr. Carl Werner interviewed Dr. Andrew Knoll, professor of biology at Harvard University. Here’s what Dr. Knoll said about Darwin and the fossil record: “Darwin devotes two chapters of The Origin [of Species] to the fossil record. And you might think that’s because Darwin, like most of his intellectual descendants, would have seen the fossil record as the confirmation of his theory…. But, in fact, when you read The Origin [of Species], it turns out that Darwin’s two chapters are a carefully worded apology in which he argues that natural selection is correct despite the fact that the fossils don’t particularly support it.”

While Darwin’s intellectual descendants think that the fossil record is their friend, in reality, it is one of the most important evidences for biblical creation!    Click the image above to go to wed page 

Should I Attend a Homosexual Wedding?

Image result for Kevin DeYoung

by Kevin DeYoung 

Kevin DeYoung is an American Reformed Evangelical theologian and author. He is currently the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church.Wikipedia

Born1977 (age 41 years), South Holland, Illinois, United States

SpouseTrisha DeYoung

ChurchChrist Covenant Church (Matthews, North Carolina)

ChildrenJacob DeYoungIan DeYoungMary DeYoungElizabeth DeYoungPaul DeYoungBenjamin DeYoung

ParentsLee DeYoungSheri DeYoung


_________________________

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE

Why might a Christian refuse to attend, cater, or participate in a same-sex marriage ceremony? For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume this is a discussion among traditional Christians who believe—as the church has always believed and as most of the global church still believes—that same-sex behavior is sinful and that marriage is a covenantal, conjugal union of a man and a woman.

With that clarifying comment, we can address the question head-on: Why would a Christian feel conscience bound not to attend or participate in a gay wedding? It’s not because of bigotry or fear or because we are unaware that Jesus spent time with sinners that leads us to this conclusion. It’s because of our desire to be obedient to Christ and because of the nature of the wedding event itself.

A wedding ceremony, in the Christian tradition, is first of all a worship service. So if the union being celebrated in the service cannot be biblically sanctioned as an act of worship, we believe the service lends credence to a lie. We cannot in good conscience participate in a service of false worship. I understand that does not sound very nice, but the conclusion follows from the premise, namely, that the “marriage” being celebrated is not in fact a marriage and should not be celebrated.

Moreover, there has long been an understanding that those present at a marriage ceremony are not just casual observers, but they are witnesses who are granting their approval and support for the vows that are to be made. That’s why the traditional language speaks of gathering “here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation.” That’s why one of the sample marriage services in the Presbyterian Church in America still has the minister say:

If any man can show just cause why they may not lawfully be wedded, let him now declare it, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.

Quite explicitly, the wedding is not a party for friends and family. It’s not a mere ceremonial formality. It is a divine event in which those gathered celebrate and honor the “solemnization of matrimony.”

Which is why—as much as I might want to build bridges with a lesbian friend or reassure a gay family member that I care for him and want to have a relationship with him—I would not attend a same-sex wedding ceremony. I cannot help with my cake, with my flowers, or with my presence to solemnize what is not holy.

In taking such a position, I’ve often heard things like this in response:

But Jesus hung out with sinners. He wasn’t worried about being contaminated by the world. He didn’t want to turn people off to God’s love. He was always throwing open the floodgates of God’s mercy. He would say to us, “If someone forces you to bake one cake, bake for him two.”

Okay, let’s think through these objections. I mean actually think for a few sentences, and not just with slogans and vague sentimentality.

Jesus hung out with sinners. True, sort of (depends on what you mean by “hung out”). But Jesus believed marriage was between a man and a woman (Matt. 19:3–9). The example of Christ in the Gospels teaches us that we should not be afraid to spend time with sinners. If a gay couple next door invites you over for dinner, don’t turn them down.

He wasn’t worried about being contaminated by the world. That’s not the concern here. This isn’t about cooties or sin germs. We have plenty of those ourselves.

He didn’t want to turn people off to God’s love. But Jesus did so all the time. He acted in ways that could be unintentionally, and more often deliberately, antagonistic (Matt. 7:6, 13–27; 11:20–24; 13:10–17; 19:16–30). Jesus turned people off all the time. This is no excuse for us to be unthinking and unkind. But it should put to rest the unbiblical notion that says if someone feels hurt by your words or unloved by your actions that you were ipso facto sinfully and foolishly unloving.

He was always throwing open the floodgates of God’s mercy. Amen. Let’s keep preaching Christ and preach as He did, calling all people to “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

If someone forces to you bake one cake, bake for him two. This is, of course, a true and beautiful principle about how Christians, when reviled, must not revile in return. But it hardly can mean that we do whatever people demand no matter our rights (Acts 4:18–20; 16:35–40; 22:22–29) and no matter what is right in God’s eyes.

A wedding is not a dinner invitation or a graduation open house or retirement party. Even in a completely secular environment, there is still a sense—and sometimes the wedding invitations say as much—that our presence at the event would honor the couple and their marriage. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to attend a wedding (let alone cater it or provide the culinary centerpiece) without your presence communicating celebration and support for what is taking place. And, as painful as it may be for us and for those we love, celebrating and supporting homosexual unions is not something God or His Word will allow us to do.

Rev. Kevin DeYoung is senior minister of Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, N.C., and assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, N.C. He blogs at The Gospel Coalition and is author of numerous books, including What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?

Taken from:  Tabletalk Magazine 

“Excitement for the Lord’s House”

He can’t contain himself – as it gets closer and closer, that’s all he can talk about. Friends exchange knowing glances when the occasion comes up, knowing that just the mention of it will cause a huge smile to break out on his face, and his words will trip over themselves as he gushes about what he expects and looks forward to on that day. What is this man looking forward to? It must be a pretty big event – it seems to be taking up his whole mind. Maybe his wedding, or the vacation he’s been planning for months? No, what this man is looking forward to is worshipping His God on the Sabbath.

This man is the psalmist in Psalm 84 – he starts out his song by shouting out “How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!” His joy in coming to the Lord’s house can’t wait another minute – it’s been on his mind and he must express it right away. He loves to be there, loves to “behold the beauty of the LORD” (Psalm 27:4).

In fact, this man loves the house of the Lord so much, the once or twice weekly visit is not enough for him. Psalm 42 compares this longing to that of a deer for water. A deer’s most innate instinct is to find water – it can’t survive without it. This man knows that what water is to a deer, fellowship with the Lord is to him. Personal devotions during the week satisfy him somewhat, but by Saturday, he finds himself weak, needing replenishment from the preaching on Sunday.

I think we can all confess our emotions and thoughts on Saturday night and Sunday morning aren’t always quite in line with the man described here. Saturdays are full of housework and chores, piles of homework, and then maybe hanging out with our friends at night. We head to bed and fall asleep as soon as we hit the pillow. Sunday morning comes and we wake up as late as we can while still getting to church on time and looking decent. We don’t wake up with smiles on our face that today is the day we can worship our Lord in His house. But how can we make our attitudes line up with the psalmist’s?

A great place to start is consciousness. It’s easy to go through our normal Sunday activities without thinking – after all, most of us have been doing the same types of things each Sunday since we were children. It’s a comfortable routine. But I encourage you to look at it with new eyes. When we go to our respective churches each Sunday, it’s more than just a routine – we are entering in to the very house of God. The almighty, omnipotent God, Creator of heaven and earth, the One who planned your whole life before time began, allows us into His house, the place in which He dwells. This isn’t any grudging invitation either – He chose each of us specifically to come to His house. If it was up to us, we would be running the opposite way. But by His grace, we can confess with the psalmist of Psalm 65, “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts.”

So tonight, when you set your alarm for the morning – probably earlier than you would like – think about where exactly you’re going tomorrow. Meditate on the words of Psalm 84. Mark the bulwarks of your church as the psalmist does in Psalm 48. Ask God to give you the same joy and longing expressed in so many Psalms, overflowing joy and thankfulness to be able to worship at His house.

Kenzie Kuiper

Young Calvinist

In God’s Arms (Poetry)

The Christian’s Rest
Christian Poetry
by Nancy Moelker
(Jenison, MI)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Christian’s Rest

Resting in the arms of God –
Oh, what joy divine,
Just to know that I am His
And He is mine!

Resting in the arms of God,
I’ve no cause for fear.
Satan may assail me,
But my sovereign God is near.

Resting in the arms of God,
Submissive to His will,
Knowing He’ll work good for me
Through times of good or ill.

Resting in the arms of God,
Doubts and strivings cease.
Christ is all my righteousness,
And I have perfect peace.

Resting in the arms of God
Through life’s pilgrim way,
Trusting in His promises,
He leads me day by day.

Resting in the arms of God
At my final breath –
Christ has won the victory!
“Where’s thy sting, O death?”

Resting in the arms of God,
Heaven’s gates unfold.
Forever with my Savior
I’ll have joy and peace untold!

Resting in the arms of God –
Oh, what joy divine,
Just to know that I am His
And He is mine!
Resting in the arms of God
At my final breath –
Christ has won the victory!
“Where’s thy sting, O death?”

Resting in the arms of God,
Heaven’s gates unfold.
Forever with my Savior
I’ll have joy and peace untold!

Resting in the arms of God –
Oh, what joy divine,
Just to know that I am His
And He is mine!

Three R’s Blog

Meditation of the Misery of the Soul in this Life.

    Meditation of the Misery of the Soul in this Life.

    The misery of thy soul will more evidently appear, if thou wilt but consider-1st, The felicity she has lost; 2nd, The misery which she has brought upon herself by sin.

    1. The felicity lost first, the fruition of the image of God, whereby the soul was like God in knowledge, enabling her perfectly to understand the revealed will of God (Col. 3:10; Rom 12:1); secondly, true holiness, by which she was free from all profane error; thirdly, righteousness, whereby she was able to incline all her natural powers, and to frame uprightly all her actions, proceeding from those powers. With the loss of this divine image, she lost the love of God, and the blessed communion which she had with Him, wherein consists her life and happiness. If the loss of earthly riches vex thee so much, how should not the loss of this divine treasure perplex thee much more?

    2. The misery which she drew upon herself, consists in two things:-1st, Sinfulness; 2d, Cursedness.


    1. Sinfulness is an universal corruption both of her nature and actions: for her nature is infected with a proneness to every sin continually (Eph. 2:3; Gen. 6:5); the mind is stuffed with vanity (Ron. 12:2; Eph. 4:17); the understanding is darkened with ignorance (1 Cor. 2:14); the will affects nothing but vile and vain things (Phil. 2:3); all her actions are evil (Rom. 3:12); yea, this deformity is so violent, that often in the regenerate soul, the appetite will not obey the government of reason, and the will wanders after, and yields consent to sinful motions. How great, then, is the violence of the appetite and will in the reprobate soul, which still remains in her natural corruption! Hence it is that thy wretched soul is so deformed with sin, defiled with lust, polluted with filthiness, outraged with passions, over-carried with affections, pining with envy, overcharged with gluttony, surfeited with drunkenness, boiling with revenge, transported with rage, and the glorious image of God transformed into the ugly shape of the devil (John 8:44), so far as it once “repented the Lord, that ever he made man,” Gen. 6:6.

    From the former flows the other part of the soul’s miseries, called Cursedness (Deut. 27:26; Gal. 3:10; Psal. 119:21); whereof there are two degress-1st, In part; 2d, in fullness thereof.

    1. Cursedness in part is that which is inflicted upon the soul in life and death, and is common to her with the body.

    2. The cursedness of the soul in life, is the wrath of God, which lies upon such a creature so far, as that all things, not only calamities, but also very blessings and graces turn to ruin (Rom. 2:4, 5; Jer. 28: 13; Isa. 28:13); terror of conscience drives him from God and his service, that he dares not come to his presence and ordinances (Gen. 3:8, 10; 4:14; Heb. 2:15), but is given up to the slavery of Satan, and to his own lusts and vile affections (Rom. 1:21, 24, 26; Eph. 2:2; Col. 1:13). This is the cursedness of the soul in life. Now follow the cursedness of the soul and body in death.

    The Practice of Piety
    by Lewis Bayly.
    A Puritan Devotional Manual.
    (The Misery of Man pp.31-33)

    Meditations of the State of a Christian
    Reconciled to God in Christ

    Now let us see how happy a godly man is in his state of renovation, being reconciled to God in Christ.

    The godly man whose corrupt nature is renewed by grace in Christ and become a new creature, is blessed in a threefold respect-First, in his life; Secondly, in his death; Thirdly, after death.

    1. His blessedness during his life is but in part, and that consists in things:-

    1. Because he is conceived of the Spirit (John 3:50), and is born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13), who in Christ his Father (Gal. 4:6, 7; 2 Cor. 9:8:) so that the image of God his Father is renewed in him every day more and more (Eph. 4:2, 3, 13; Cool. 3:10.)


    2. He has, for the merits of Christ’s sufferings, all his sins, original and actual, with the guilt and punishment belonging to them (Rom. 4:8, 25; 8:1, 2; 1 Pet. 2:24), freely and fully forgiven him; and all the righteousness of Christ as freely and fully imputed to him (Rom. 4:5, 19;) and so is reconciled to him (2 Cor. 4:19;) and approveth him as righteous in his sight and account (Rom. 8:33, 34.)


    3. He is freed from Satan’s bondage (Acts 16:18; Eph. 2:2), and is made a brother of Christ (John 20:17; Rom. 8:20), a fellow-heir of his heavenly kingdom (Rom. 3:17), and a spiritual king and priest (Rev. 1:6), to offer up a spiritual sacrifice to God by Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 2:5; Mal. 3:17.)


    4. God spareth him as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. And this sparing consists in,


    (1.) Not taking notice if every fault, but bearing with his infirmities (Exod. 6, 7.) A loving Father will not cast his child out of doors in his sickness.


    (2.) Not making his punishment he is chastened, as a great as his deserts (Psal. 103: 10).


    (3.) Chastening him moderately when he seeth that he will not by any other means be reclaimed (2 Sam. 7:14, 15; 1 Cor. 11:32.)


    (4.) Graciously accepting his endeavours, notwithstanding the imperfection of his obedience; and so preferring the willingness of his mind before the worthiness of his work (2 Cor. 8:12.)


    (5.) Turning the course which he deserved to crosses and fatherly corrections; yea, all things, all calamities of his life, death itself, yea, his very sins, to his good (Rom. 8:28; Psal. 89:31, 33; 119: 71; Heb. 12:10, 2 Cor. 121:7; 1 Cor. 15: 54, 55; Heb. 2:14, 15; Luke 22:31, 32; Psal. 51: 13, 14; Rom. 5:20, 21.)


    5. God gives him his Holy Spirit, which,


    (1.) Sanctifies him by degrees throughout (1 Thess. 5:23), so that he more and more dies to sin and lives to righteousness (Rom. 8:5, 10.)


    (2.) Assures him of his adoption, and that he is by grace the child of God (Rom. 8:16.)


    (3.) Encourages him to come with boldness and confidence into the presence of God (Heb. 4:16; Eph. 3:12.)


    (4.) Moves him without fear to say unto him, Abba Father (Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:15, 16.)


    (5.) Pours into his heart the gift of sanctified prayer.


    (6.) Persuades him that both he and his prayers are accepted and heard of God, for God his mediator’s sake.


    (7.) Fills him with, 1st, Peace of conscience (Rom. 5:1; 14:17;) 2nd, Joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14:17:) in comparison whereof all earthly joys seem vain and vile to him.


    6. He has a recovery of his sovereignty over the creatures (Psal. 8:5, &c.; Heb. 2:7, 8), which he lost by Adam’s fall; and from thence free liberty (Rom. 14:14; 1 Tim. 4:2, &c.) of using all things which God hath not restrained (1 Cor. 9:19, 20), so that he may use them with a good conscience (1 Cor. 3: 22, 32; Heb. 1:7.) For to all things in heaven and earth he hath a sure title in this life (1 Cor. 3:22;) and he shall have the plenary and peaceable possession of them in the life to come (Matt. 25:34; 1 Pet. 1:4.) Hence it is that all reprobates are but usurpers of all that they possess, and have no place of their own but hell (Acts 1:25.)


    7. He has the assurance of God’s fatherly care and protection day and night over him; which care consists in three things:


    (1.) In providing all things necessary for his soul and body, concerning this life (Matt. 6:32; 2 Cor. 12:14; Psal. 23: 9, 10), and that which is to come; so that he shall be sure ever either to have enough, or patience to be content with that he hath.


    (2.) In that God gives his holy angels, as ministers, a charge to attend upon him always for his good (Heb. 1:14; Psal. 34:7; 91:11;) yea, in danger to pitch their tents about him for his safety wherever he be: yea, God’s protection shall defend him as a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night (Isa. 4:5;) and his providence shall hedge him from the power of the devil (Job 1:10.)


    (3.) In that the eyes of the Lord are upon him, and his ears continually open, to see his state (Psal. 34: 15; Gen. 7:1), and to hear his complaint, and in his good time to deliver him out of all his troubles (Psal. 34:19.)

    Thus far of the blessed state of the godly and regenerate in this life.

    The Practice of Piety
    by Lewis Bayly.
    A Puritan Devotional Manual.
    (The Misery of Man pp.45-48)

    1. Meditations of the blessed state of a Regenerate Man in his Death.

    When God sends death as his messenger for the regenerate man, he meets him half-way to heave, for his conversation and affection is there before him (Phil. 3:20; Col. 3:2) Death is never strange or fearful to him: not strange, because he died daily-not fearful because whilst he lived, he was dead, and his life was hid with Christ in God (1 Cor. 1:32; Col. 3:3;) to die, therefore, is to him nothing else in effect, but to rest from his labour in this world, to go home to his Father’s house, unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant (Rev. 14:13; 2 Cor. 5:6; John 14:2; Heb. 12:22, &c.) Whilst his body is sick, his mind is sound; for God maketh his bed in sickness, and strengtheneth him with faith and patience, upon his bed of sorrow (Psal. 41:3.) And when he begins to enter into the way of all the world, he giveth (like Jacob, Moses, and Joshua) to his children and friends, godly exhortations and counsels, to serve the true God, to worship Him truly all the days of their life (Gen. 49.) His blessed soul breatheth nothing but blessings, and such speeches as savour a sanctified spirit. As his outward man decayeth, so his inward man increaseth, and waxeth stronger; when the speech of his tongue faltereth, the sighs of his heart speak louder unto God; when the sight of eye faileth, the Holy Ghost illuminates him inwardly with abundance of spiritual light. His soul feareth not, but is bold to go out of the body, and to dwell with her Lord (2 Cor. 5:8.) He sigheth out with Paul, Cupio dissolvi, “I desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ,” Phil. 1:23. And with David, “As the heart panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when I come and appear before God?” Psal. 42:2. He prayeth with the saints, “How long, O Lord, which art holy and true?” Rev. 6:10. “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly,” Rev. 22:10. And when the appointed time of his dissolution is come (Job 14:5), knowing that he goeth to his Father and Redeemer in the assured persuasion of the forgiveness of all his sins, in the Lamb, he sings with blessed old Simeon his Nunc dimittis, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in pace,” (Luke 2:29; Psal. 37:37; Isa. 57:2), and surrenders up his soul, as it were, with his own hands, into the hands of his heavenly Father, saying with David, “Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my soul, for thou hath redeemed me, O Lord thou God of truth,” Psal. 31:5. And saying with Stephen, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,” Acts 7:59; he no sooner yields up the ghost, but immediately the holy angels (Matt. 18: 10;Acts 12:15; 27:23) who attended upon him from his birth to his death, carry and accompany his soul into heaven, as they did the soul of Lazarus into Abraham’s bosom (Luke 17:22), which is the kingdom of heaven, whither only good angels and good works do accompany the soul (Matt. 8:11; Luke 13:28; Acts 15:10, 11;Eph. 1:10; Heb. 11:9, 10, 16; 12:22, 23; Luke 19:9; 9:31;) the one to deliver their charge (Psal. 91:11; Heb. 1:14;) the other to receive their reward (Rev. 14:13; 22:12.) The body, in convenient time, as the sanctified temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 6:19), the members of Christ (1 Cor. 6:15), nourished by his body (Matt. 26:26), the price of the blood of the Son of God (1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Pet. 1:19), is by his fellow-brethren reverently laid to sleep in the grave as in the bed of Christ (1 Thess. 4: 14; Acts 7:6; 8:2), in an assured hope to awake in the resurrection of the just, at the last day, to be partaker, with the soul, of life and glory everlasting (Dan. 12:2; John 5:28, 29; Luke 14:14; 1 Thess. 4:16:17; Rev. 14:13.) And in this respect not only the souls, but the very bodies of the faithful also are termed blessed.         

    The Practice of Piety
    by Lewis Bayly.
    A Puritan Devotional Manual.
    (The Misery of Man pp. 48-50)

    1. Meditations of the blessed state of a Regenerate Man in his Death.

    When God sends death as his messenger for the regenerate man, he meets him half-way to heave, for his conversation and affection is there before him (Phil. 3:20; Col. 3:2) Death is never strange or fearful to him: not strange, because he died daily-not fearful because whilst he lived, he was dead, and his life was hid with Christ in God (1 Cor. 1:32; Col. 3:3;) to die, therefore, is to him nothing else in effect, but to rest from his labour in this world, to go home to his Father’s house, unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant (Rev. 14:13; 2 Cor. 5:6; John 14:2; Heb. 12:22, &c.) Whilst his body is sick, his mind is sound; for God maketh his bed in sickness, and strengtheneth him with faith and patience, upon his bed of sorrow (Psal.41:3.) And when he begins to enter into the way of all the world, he giveth (like Jacob, Moses, and Joshua) to his children and friends, godly exhortations and counsels, to serve the true God, to worship Him truly all the days of their life (Gen. 49.) His blessed soul breatheth nothing but blessings, and such speeches as savour a sanctified spirit. As his outward man decayeth, so his inward man increaseth, and waxeth stronger; when the speech of his tongue faltereth, the sighs of his heart speak louder unto God; when the sight of eye faileth, the Holy Ghost illuminates him inwardly with abundance of spiritual light. His soul feareth not, but is bold to go out of the body, and to dwell with her Lord (2 Cor. 5:8.) He sigheth out with Paul, Cupio dissolvi, “I desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ,” Phil. 1:23. And with David, “As the heart panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when I come and appear before God?” Psal. 42:2. He prayeth with the saints, “How long, O Lord, which art holy and true?” Rev. 6:10. “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly,” Rev. 22:10. And when the appointed time of his dissolution is come (Job 14:5), knowing that he goeth to his Father and Redeemer in the assured persuasion of the forgiveness of all his sins, in the Lamb, he sings with blessed old Simeon his Nunc dimittis, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in pace,” (Luke 2:29; Psal. 37:37; Isa. 57:2), and surrenders up his soul, as it were, with his own hands, into the hands of his heavenly Father, saying with David, “Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my soul, for thou hath redeemed me, O Lord thou God of truth,” Psal. 31:5. And saying with Stephen, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,” Acts 7:59; he no sooner yields up the ghost, but immediately the holy angels (Matt. 18: 10;Acts 12:15; 27:23) who attended upon him from his birth to his death, carry and accompany his soul into heaven, as they did the soul of Lazarus into Abraham’s bosom (Luke 17:22), which is the kingdom of heaven, whither only good angels and good works do accompany the soul (Matt. 8:11; Luke 13:28; Acts 15:10, 11;Eph. 1:10; Heb. 11:9, 10, 16; 12:22, 23; Luke19:9; 9:31;) the one to deliver their charge (Psal. 91:11; Heb. 1:14;) the other to receive their reward (Rev. 14:13; 22:12.) The body, in convenient time, as the sanctified temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 6:19), the members of Christ (1 Cor. 6:15), nourished by his body (Matt. 26:26), the price of the blood of the Son of God (1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Pet. 1:19), is by his fellow0brethren reverently laid to sleep in the grave as in the bed of Christ (1 Thess. 4: 14; Acts 7:6; 8:2), in an assured hope to awake in the resurrection of the just, at the last day, to be partaker, with the soul, of life and glory everlasting (Dan. 12:2; John 5:28, 29; Luke 14L14; 1 Thess. 4:16:17; Rev. 14:13.) And in this respect not only the souls, but the very bodies of the faithful also are termed blessed.         

    The Practice of Piety
    by Lewis Bayly.
    A Puritan Devotional Manual.
    (The Misery of Man pp. 48-50)

    Meditations of the blessed state of a Regenerate Man in Heaven

    Here my meditation dazzles, and my pen falls out of my hand; the one being not able to conceive, nor the other to describe, that most excellent bliss, and eternal weight of glory (2 Cor. 4:17; Rom. 8:18)-whereof all the afflictions of this present life are not worthy- which all the elect shall with the blessed Trinity enjoy, from that time that they shall be received with Christ, as joint-heirs (Rom. 8:17) into that everlasting kingdom of joy.

    Notwithstanding, we may take a scantling thereof. The holy scriptures thus set forth (to our capacity) the glory of our eternal and heavenly life after death, in four respects-1st,  Of the place; 2nd, Of the object; 3rd, Of the prerogatives of the elect there; 4th,  Of the effects of these prerogatives.

    1. Of the Place.

    The place is the heaven of heavens, or the third heaven, called paradise (Psal. 19:5; 2 Cor. 12:24;) whither Christ (in his human nature) ascended for above all visible heavens. The bridegroom’s chamber (Psal.19:5; Matt. 25:10), which by the firmament, as by an azured curtain spangled with glittering stars, and glorious planets, is hid, that we cannot behold it with these corruptible eyes of flesh. The Holy Ghost framing himself to our weakness, describes the glory of that place (of which no man can estimate) by such things as are most precious in the estimation of man; and therefore likeneth it to a great and holy city, named the heavenly Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2, &c.), where only God and his people who are saved, and written in the Lamb’s book (ver. 24 & 27), do inhabit; all built of pure gold, like unto clear glass or crystal (ver. 11, 18, 19, 20;) the walls of jasper-stone: the foundations of the walls garnished with twelve manner of precious stones, having twelve gates, each built of one pearl (ver. 21:) three gates towards each of the four corners of the world (ver. 13), as so many porters, that no unclean thing should enter into it (ver. 27.) It is four square (ver. 16), therefore perfect: the length, the breadth, and height of it are equal, 12,000 furlongs every way; therefore glorious and spacious. Through the midst of her streets ever runneth a pure river of the water of life, as clear as crystal (Rev. 22:1); and on the other side the river is the three of life (ver. 2), ever growing, which bears twelve manner of fruits, and gives fruit every month; and the leaves of the three are health to the nations. There is therefore no place so glorious by creation, so beautiful with delectation, so rich in possession, so comfortable for habitation. For there, the King is Christ-the law is love- the honour is light without darkness, mirth without sadness, health without sickness, wealth without want, credit without disgrace, beauty without blemish, ease labour, riches without rust, blessedness without misery, and consolation that never knoweth an end. How truly may we cry out with David, of this city, “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O thou city of God!” (Psal. 137:3; and yet all these things are spoken but according to the weakness of our capacity. For heaven exceedeth all this in glory, so far, as that no tongue is able to express, nor heart of man to conceive, the glory therefore, as witnesseth St. Paul (2 Cor. 12:4; 1 Cor. 2:5), who was in it, and saw it. O let us not then dote so much upon these wooden cottages, and houses of mouldering clay, which are but the tents of ungodliness, and habitation of sinners; but let us look rather, and long for this heavenly city, whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:10;) which he, who is not ashamed to be called our God hath prepared for us (Heb. 11:6). 

    1. Of the object.

    The blissful and glorious object of all intellectual and reasonable creatures in heaven is called the Godhead, in Trinity of Persons, without which there is neither joy nor felicity; but the very fullness of joy consisteth in enjoying the same.

    This object we shall enjoy two ways: –
    1. By a beatific vision of God.
    2. By possessing an immediate communion with this divine nature.
    The beatifical vision of God is that only that can content the infinite mind of man. For every thing tendeth to its centre of the soul: therefore, like Noah’s dove, she cannot rest nor joy till she return and enjoy him.
    All that God bestowed upon Moses could not satisfy his mind, unless he might see the face of God (Exod. 3:13:) therefore the whole church prayeth so earnestly, “God be merciful unto us, and cause his face to shine upon us.” (Psal. 67:1], and 80:1.) When Paul once had seen this blessed sight, he ever after counted all the riches and glory of the world (in respect of it) to be but dung (Phil. 3:8, 11); and all his life after was but a sighing to be out (cupio dissolvi), “I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ.” (Phil. 1:23.) And Christ prayed for all his elect in his last prayer, that they might obtain this blessed vision: “Father, I will that they which thou has given me be (where?) even where I am, (to what end?) that they may behold my glory,” &c. (John 17:14.) If Moses’s face did so shine, when he had been with God but forty days, and seen but his back parts (Exod. 34:29; 33:31), how shall we shine, when we shall see him face to face for ever, and know him as we are known, and as he is! (1 Cor. 13:12; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 John 3:2.) Then shall the soul no longer be termed Marah, bitterness, but Naomi, beautifulness; for the Lord shall turn her short bitterness to an eternal beauty and blessedness (Ruth 1:20.)
    The second means to enjoy this object is, by having an immediate and an eternal communion with God in heaven. This we have,-first, by being, as members of Christ, united to his manhood, and as by the manhood, personally united to the Word, we are united to him, as he is God; and, by his Godhead, to the whole Trinity. Reprobates at the last day see God as judge, to punish them; but, for lack of this communion, they shall have neither grace with him, nor glory from him. Fr want of this communion, the devils, when the saw Christ, cried out, Quid nobis tecum? “What have we to do with thee, O Son of the most high God?” (Mark 5:7.) But, by virtue of this communion, the penitent soul may boldly go and say unto Christ, as Ruth unto Boaz (Ruth 3:9), “Spread, O Christ, the wing of the garment of thy mercy over thine handmaid; for thou art my kinsman.” This communion God promised Abraham, when he gave himself for his great reward (Gen. 15:1.) And Christ prayeth for his whole church to obtain it (John 17:21.) This communion St. Paul expresseth in one word, saying that God shall be all in all to us (1 Cor. 15:28.) Indeed, God is now all in all to us; but by means, and in a small measure. But in heaven, God himself immediately, in fullness of measure, without means, will be unto us all the good things that our souls and bodies can wish or desire. He himself will be salvation and joy to our souls, life and health to our bodies, beauty to our eyes, music to our ears, honey to our mouths, perfume to our nostrils, light to our understandings, contentment to our wills, and delight to our hearts. And what can be lacking, where God himself will be the soul of our souls? Yes all the strength, wit, pleasure, virtues, colours, beauties, harmony, and goodness, that are in men, beasts, fishes, fowls, trees, herbs, and all creatures, are nothing but sparkles of those things which are infinite perfection in God. And in his we shall enjoy them in a far more perfect and blessed manner. He himself will then supply their use: nay, the best creatures which serve us now shall not have the honour to serve us then. There will be no need of the sun nor of the moon to shine in that city; for the glory of God doth light it (Rev. 21:23.) No more will there be any need or use of any creature, when we shall enjoy the Creator himself. When therefore, we behold anything that is excellent in any creatures, let us say to ourselves, How much more excellent is he who gave them this excellency!  When we behold the wisdom of men, who overrule creatures stronger than themselves; outrun the sun and moon in discourse, prescribing many years before in what courses they shall be eclipsed; let us say to ourselves, How admirable is the wisdom of God, who made men so wise! When we consider the strength of whales and elephants, the tempest of winds, and terror of thunder, let us say to ourselves, How strong, how mighty, how terrible is that God, that makes these mighty and fearful creatures! When we taste things that are delicately sweet, let us say to ourselves, O how sweet is that God from whom all these creatures have received their sweetness! We behold the admirable colours which are in flowers and birds, and all the lovely beauty of nature, let us say, How fair is that God that made these so fair! And if our loving God hath thus provided us so many excellent delights, for our passage through this Bochim (Judge 2:5), or valley of tears, what are those pleasures which he hath prepared for us, when we shall enter into the palace of our Master’s joy! How shall our souls be there ravished with the love of so lovely a God! So glorious is the object of heavenly saints: so amiable is the sight of our gracious Saviour.

    The Practice of Piety
    by Lewis Bayly.
    A Puritan Devotional Manual.
    (The Misery of Man pp. 62-66)

    Meditations directing a Christian how to apply to himself without delay, the foresaid knowledge of God and himself.

    Thou seest, therefore, O man, how wretched and cursed thy state is, by corruption of nature, without Christ! Insomuch, that as the scriptures liken wicked men to lions, bears, bulls, horses, dogs, and such like savage creatures, in their lives, it is certain that the condition of an unregenerate man is in his death more vile than a dog, or the filthiest creature in the world. For the beast being made but for man’s use, when he dies, ends, ends all his miseries with his death; but man, endued with a reasonable and an immortal soul, made after God’s image, to serve God, when he ends the miseries of this life, must account for all his misdeeds, and begin to endure those miseries that never shall know end. No creature but man is liable to yield at his death an account for his life. The brute creatures, not having reason, shall not be required to make any account for their deeds; and good angels, though thy have reason, yet shall they yield no account, because they have no sin. And as for evil angels, that are without all hope already condemned, so that they need not make any further accounts: man only in his death must be God’s accountant for his life.
    On the other side thou seest, O man, how happy and blessed by estate is, being truly reconciled to God in Christ; in that, through the restoration of God’s image, and thy restitution into thy sovereignty over other creatures, thou art in this life little inferior to the angels, and shalt be in the life to come equal to the angels: yea, in respect to thy nature, exalted by a personal union to the Son of God, and by him to the glory of the Trinity, superior to the angels, a fellow-brother with angels in spiritual grace and everlasting glory.
    Thou hast seen how glorious and perfect God is, and how that all thy chief bliss and happiness consists in having an eternal communion with him.
    Now, therefore, O impenitent sinner! In the bowels of Christ Jesus I entreat thee, nay I conjure thee, as thou tenderest thine own salvation, seriously to consider with me, how false, how vain, how vile, are those things which still retain and chain thee in this wretched and cursed estate wherein thou livest, and which hinder thee from the favour of God, and the hope of eternal life and happiness.

    The Practice of Piety
    by Lewis Bayly.
    A Puritan Devotional Manual.
    (The Misery of Man pp. 74-75)

    The Lord Makes Good Wine

    Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed. Jeremiah 48:11

    The word of God has a fair amount to say about wine. We read throughout scripture warnings against consuming wine in excess. We are familiar with these passages concerning the danger of alcohol. However, we may be unfamiliar with the Bible’s teaching of the Lord’s making wine. I refer not to the first miracle our Lord Jesus performed here on this earth by turning water in wine (John 2:1–11).  Instead, we will consider an Old Testament passage concerning the Lord’s work in making wine— good wine.

    The prophet Jeremiah labored in the midst of Judah for forty years, from the time of King Josiah to the carrying away of Jerusalem into captivity (Jer. 1:2–4). The book of Jeremiah repeatedly proclaims God’s forthcoming judgment on his chosen people, calling them to turn from idol worship and repent. However, in the final chapters of the book, we read of the judgment of God reserved for the heathen nations that surrounded Judah. Specifically we consider the proclamation of God against Moab in Jeremiah 48.

    Moab, as you remember, was one of the two sons born to Lot, the nephew of Abraham, when his daughters sinfully conspired to make Lot drunk with wine and then lie with him (Genesis 19:37). The resulting child gave rise to the nation of Moab who therefore had blood relations with the children of Israel. However, despite this common ancestry, these two nations stood at enmity with each other throughout their histories.  Moab exerted great effort to plot against Israel. For example, recall the efforts of Balak, king of Moab, to summon Balaam in order to curse the Israelites as they journeyed to the doorstep of Canaan (Numbers 22:6).

    In spite of their efforts to aggravate God’s people, Moab enjoyed peace and prosperity throughout most of its history. The prophet indicates this in Jeremiah 48:11: “Moab hath been at ease from his youth.” Evidently Moab did not experience times of great difficulty. All seemed well for this people despite their departure from serving the Lord. Thus Jeremiah can say they “have not been emptied from vessel to vessel.” What does the prophet mean by these words? In declaring God’s judgment on the nation of Moab, Jeremiah uses the illustration of making wine. In order to understand this text, we will need to explore this process.

    To make wine, yeast is added to grape pulp to convert the sugars within the grapes to alcohol, a process known as fermentation. During the fermenting process, the yeast slowly collects along the sides of the barrel or vessel containing the wine. This yeast that collects on the side of the vessel is referred to as “lees.” If the wine remains in that same barrel or vessel for too long, the lees slowly begin to impart a bitter or sour taste to the wine. In addition, the lees hinder the wine from developing a sweet and pleasant aroma.

    To prevent the wine from taking on these undesirable qualities, a skilled winemaker will pour the wine into a new barrel or vessel after a certain amount of time. This process serves to agitate the wine and unsettle the yeast. In addition, the wine no longer contacts any yeast that did collect on the side of the previous barrel.  Therefore by emptying the wine from one vessel to another, a winemaker prevents the wine from becoming bitter or sour because it settled on the lees for too long. This process of emptying the wine from one vessel into another vessel must be repeated several times, until the wine has matured and can be placed in a glass bottle.

    Now that we understand the process for making wine, we can return to God’s judgment on Moab. The prophet Jeremiah proclaimed that Moab “hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel.” In this figure the skilled winemaker that we described depicts Jehovah, the vessels represent the different states or conditions of our lives, and the wine refers to the nation of Moab. We read that God did not go through the trouble of pouring the nation of Moab from one vessel and into another vessel. God did not utilize his might and skill to prevent Moab from becoming bitter or sour to the taste. Instead he sovereignly determined to let Moab “settle on his lees.”

    What then do the lees refer to? The lees here refer to sins in general, but more specifically, to the sin of spiritual indifference and complacency. Therefore settling on one’s own lees represents our natural tendency to allow sin to remain undisturbed within our own hearts. This settling on the lees refers to times in our lives that we lose the sense of true sorrow for our sins that we ought to have, and instead become unconcerned about and even comfortable in our spiritual lethargy. This figure depicts the power of sin to cleave to the inner walls of our hearts, just as the lees to inner walls of the wine barrel, resulting in the whole of our life, as with the wine, becoming unpleasant both in taste and smell to God.  This sin characterized the nation of Moab, which left off the service of the Lord because they grew comfortable in their spiritual indifference. God allowed this to happen; he allowed Moab to “settle on his lees.” Therefore Jeremiah brings a word of judgment against the nation in this chapter, for God will punish those who settle on their lees (Zephaniah 1:12).

                In contrast to Moab, God did not allow his chosen people to settle on their lees. Throughout the Old Testament, we see God busy in the work of emptying his people from vessel to vessel. God used a famine to empty his people into Egypt; after delivering them from bondage, he poured them into the wilderness; once his people were brought safely into the promised land, God repeatedly emptied his people from vessel to vessel during the time of the judges. As the master winemaker, God did not allow Israel to be at ease for an extended period of time. In doing this, God prevented Israel from settling on the lees of spiritual apathy. God repeatedly emptied his people from a vessel that had become lined with the sins of idolatry and mixed marriages into a vessel that brought out the sweet scent of true repentance and faith in Jehovah.

    That God dealt differently with Israel compared to Moab is brought out in the text when Jeremiah draws attention to the fact that Moab has not gone into captivity. Remember that Jeremiah lived and prophesied during the time of the captivity. No doubt, Jeremiah recognized the sovereign hand of the Lord in leading Judah into captivity as his handiwork in keeping his people from becoming bitter and distasteful. By leading Judah into the Babylonian captivity, God once again emptied his people from one vessel into another.

    God continues his work as a master winemaker in the lives of all his elect children. He empties us by sending sickness and disease; he turns our plans for the future upside down through financial struggles; he upsets our way of life in the death of a loved one. When God sends trials, afflictions, or hardships, he is emptying his people from one vessel and into another. God does this repeatedly. Time after time the Lord disturbs our lives so that it seems to us that he will not let us catch a break. Therein lies the temptation to wish in our hearts that God would just leave us alone for a time. By nature we long for the ease and relaxation that Moab experienced. We say to God: do not upset my life; just leave it alone. However, we must recognize the purpose of God in all of this.

    What then is God’s purpose in emptying his people from vessel to vessel? Negatively, he does not do this in his wrath and judgment upon us. This must be stated, because these massive upheavals that God sends upon us are very painful and unsettling. Thus, we are inclined to perceive this process as God’s disfavor toward us. However, in emptying us from vessel to vessel, God exhibits his grace. Remember, Jehovah does not do this for the Moabites, but only for his people. God displays his wrath and judgment by not performing this work. Therefore we must see that as God’s elect people, he desires to keep us from settling on the lees. God seeks to purify us from the sins of spiritual apathy and indifference. More clearly, in sending us trials Jehovah aims to sanctify his people. Figuratively, God desires that we taste and smell good to him.

    The ultimate purpose of God in emptying his people from one vessel into another is to make us more Christ-like. All of our trials and afflictions serve this purpose: to make us more and more like God’s beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased. To use the figure of the text, Christ represents the finished and complete product of the winemaking process. The tribunal of God perceives the work of Christ on the cross as a sweet taste and a pleasant aroma. God desires that we also become desirable to the mouth and the nose. Therefore he faithfully prevents us from settling on the lees of spiritual complacency by emptying us from vessel to vessel through hardships of life.

    The figure in this passage serves to remind us of God’s purpose in sending trials. Thus we are called to evaluate our lives in times when we recognize God’s sovereign and gracious hand emptying us from vessel to vessel. It may be that we have settled down onto certain sins. If so, this word calls us to repent and turn from them. This passage also provides great comfort to the believer. We know that the master winemaker, having begun a good work in us, will see through to our purification so we are made as good wine, pleasing to the Lord.

    B. Lights Publication date: January, 2014 | Author: Matt Kortus

     

    Young Calvinists!

     

     Scripture: Article 7 of the Belgic Confession-

    calls the Holy Scripture “the only rule of faith.” Lord’s Day 33 of the Heidelberg Catechism, when speaking of good works, describes these works in part as only those that are “performed according to the law of God,” that is, the Scriptures. Sola Scriptura, as we were reminded in the recent celebration of the Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary, means that Scripture alone gives us everything we need to know for life and faith. II Timothy 3:15 teaches us that Scripture is “able to make us wise unto salvation.” Scripture indeed is important and should occupy an important place in our lives.

    Why is Scripture so important? First, it is God’s Word. What could ever be more important and worth our time than the Word of our covenant Father to us? By it God reveals Himself to us so that we can know Him and live with Him in sweet fellowship.

    Second, God’s Word is Jesus Christ our Savior. He made the perfect sacrifice to satisfy for the sins of all His people. Therefore when we appear before God in the final judgment, we are not condemned, but have Christ’s perfect righteousness counted as ours. There can certainly be no greater gift, no more amazing grace than that Word!

    Third, Scripture gives us everything we need to live and die happily: knowledge of our sin and misery, how we can be delivered from our sin and misery, and how we can show our gratitude to God for that deliverance (Lord’s Day 1). We can only know those three things through God’s Word, which shows us our sin through the law, reveals Christ’s work on the cross for us, and instructs us in our lives of thankful obedience.

    Scripture is everything for the child of God. There is never an hour or circumstance in which God’s Word is not there for us. In joy, it directs us to praise the One from whom all blessings flow. In sin, it rebukes us, calls us to repentance, and assures us of forgiveness. In sorrow, it gives us the only comfort there can ever be in life or in death, that we are not our own but belong to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ. In doubt, it shows us God’s unchanging love and faithfulness and gives us hope for the future. The following poem, by Amos R. Wells, says it nicely.

    When I am tired, the Bible is my bed;
    Or in the dark, the Bible is my light;
    When I am hungry, it is vital bread;
    Or fearful, it is armour for the fight;
    Or lonely, thronging friends I find therein.

    If I would work, the Bible is my tool,
    Or play, it is a harp of happy sound.
    If I am ignorant, it is my school;
    If I am sinking, it is solid ground.
    If I am cold, the Bible is my fire;
    And wings, if boldy I aspire.

    Should I be lost, the Bible is my guide;
    Or naked, it is raiment, rich and warm.
    Am I imprisoned, it is ranges wide;
    Or tempest-tossed, a shelter from the storm.
    Would I adventure, ‘tis a gallant sea;
    Or would I rest, it is a flowery lea.

    Scripture indeed is everything for the child of God, and the study of Scripture is infinitely profitable. Let us now be faithful and diligent in our use of this great gift.

    Emily Feenstra 
    Young Calvinists

    Adultery Is Near! (1)
    Every day we go about seeking to fulfill the chief end of man: to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever (Westminster Shorter Catechism Q.&. A.1). In this walk we must have the meekness to realize that within us Satan tempts us to conform to the wickedness of the world and to forsake the call to “put on the mind of Christ” (I Cor. 2:16). A great temptation is the sin of adultery which Satan has filled the world with. He desires that we forsake God by breaking His seventh command, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” (Ex. 20:14).

    In this twenty-first century the world is so full of filth. Adultery is everywhere. Innumerable ways present themselves to fall into this sin. I only list a few: advertisements are increasingly abundant that appeal towards these sinful lusts, television programs and movies find little fault including scenes showing this sin, pornography is almost accepted as a normal form to find pleasure, walking out of the grocery store there are magazines which can tempt a passerby to look through with lust, and taking part in sexting. The devil is taking best advantage of technology to saturate the world with this age-old temptation.

    What do I scroll through on Instagram, what stories do I watch on Snapchat, and what do I post? It is important we all consider these questions and meditate on them. We must even ask if there is something we liked or commented under that could be a temptation for others. We hear these warnings and we must heed to them! We are called to be blameless and our use of social media must reflect this calling (Phil. 2:15). The warnings are repeated because the temptations are repeated and grow stronger. Do not excuse this article saying, “I have already recently read something telling me of this danger.” It cannot be ignored. The devil wants you to think that you do not need a reminder. As soon as we start to think we are good enough on our own the devil strikes.

    We must remain strong and “posses [our] vessel in sanctification and honour;” (I Thess. 4:3-5). This sin is not far from our church, nor is it far from us personally. It is not far from you! Each one us of must realize its danger and flee to God from this sin. We are not capable of living perfectly of ourselves. We are weak on our own and, if left to ourselves, will most definitely fall into all the snares of the devil. Many times, we try to rely on ourselves and quickly realize we have no strength. We must confess our confidence and strength is in God not of ourselves with David in Psalm 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”

    It is God’s will for our sanctification that we abstain from fornication. May we ever realize its danger in our lives. I urge you never to give occasion to this sin for yourself or for another by any action. When we do fall and find ourselves amid trouble may we not give up hope but trust in God who will stretch forth his hand and save us (Ps. 138:7).

    Luke Christian Potjer

    Taken from: APRIL 2, 2018 /Young Calvinists