Archive for October, 2009

                                                                                                                            THE 95 THESES OF MARTIN LUTHER

 

images44Out of love and concern for the truth, and with the object of eliciting it, the following heads will be the subject of a public discussion at Wittenberg under the presidency of the reverend father, Martin Luther, Augustinian, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and duly appointed Lecturer on these subjects in that place. He requests that whoever cannot be present personally to debate the matter orally will do so in absence in writing.

  1. 1. When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said “Repent”, He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

     

  2. The word cannot be properly understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, i.e. confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.

     

  3. Yet its meaning is not restricted to repentance in one’s heart; for such repentance is null unless it produces outward signs in various mortifications of the flesh.

     

  4. As long as hatred of self abides (i.e. true inward repentance) the penalty of sin abides, viz., until we enter the kingdom of heaven.

     

  5. The pope has neither the will nor the power to remit any penalties beyond those imposed either at his own discretion or by canon law.

     

  6. The pope himself cannot remit guilt, but only declare and confirm that it has been remitted by God; or, at most, he can remit it in cases reserved to his discretion. Except for these cases, the guilt remains untouched.

     

  7. God never remits guilt to anyone without, at the same time, making him humbly submissive to the priest, His representative.

     

  8. The penitential canons apply only to men who are still alive, and, according to the canons themselves, none applies to the dead.

     

  9. Accordingly, the Holy Spirit, acting in the person of the pope, manifests grace to us, by the fact that the papal regulations always cease to apply at death, or in any hard case.

     

  10. It is a wrongful act, due to ignorance, when priests retain the canonical penalties on the dead in purgatory.

     

  11. When canonical penalties were changed and made to apply to purgatory, surely it would seem that tares were sown while the bishops were asleep.

     

  12. In former days, the canonical penalties were imposed, not after, but before absolution was pronounced; and were intended to be tests of true contrition.

     

  13. Death puts an end to all the claims of the Church; even the dying are already dead to the canon laws, and are no longer bound by them.

     

  14. Defective piety or love in a dying person is necessarily accompanied by great fear, which is greatest where the piety or love is least.

     

  15. This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, whatever else might be said, to constitute the pain of purgatory, since it approaches very closely to the horror of despair.

     

  16. There seems to be the same difference between hell, purgatory, and heaven as between despair, uncertainty, and assurance.

     

  17. Of a truth, the pains of souls in purgatory ought to be abated, and charity ought to be proportionately increased.

     

  18. Moreover, it does not seem proved, on any grounds of reason or Scripture, that these souls are outside the state of merit, or unable to grow in grace.

     

  19. Nor does it seem proved to be always the case that they are certain and assured of salvation, even if we are very certain ourselves.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     20. Therefore the pope, in speaking of the plenary remission of all penalties, does not mean “all” in the strict sense, but only those imposed by himself.

Read the rest of them here

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In honor of the upcoming “Reformation Day”, I thought I would post one of Martin Luther’s prayers. This is the one he prayed the night before his famous speech at the Diet of Worms. I was listening to it on my way into town yesterday and it literally gave me goosebumps! I hope it blesses you as well…….

“Almighty, eternal God, what a contemptible thing this world is! Yet how it causes men to gape and stare at it! How small and slight is the trust of men in God. How frail and sensitive is the flesh of men, and the devil so powerful and active through his apostles and the ‘wise’ of the world! How soon men become disheartened and hurry on, running the common cause, the broad way to hell, where the godless belong! Their gazes fixed on what is splendid and powerful, great, and mighty! If I too were to turn my eyes to such things, I would be undone! The verdict would already have been passed against me, and the bell that is to toll my doom would already have been cast.

O God, O God, O Thou my God, my God, help me against the reason and wisdom of all the world! Do this! Thou must do it, Thou alone, for this cause is not mine, but Thine! For myself, I have no business here with these great lords of the world! Indeed, I too desire to enjoy days of peace and quiet and to be undisturbed. But Thine, O Lord, is this cause, and it is righteous and of eternal importance! Stand by me, Thou faithful eternal God. I rely on no man! Futile and vain is all; lame and halting all that is carnal and smacks of the flesh. God, O God, dost Thou not hear me, my God? Art Thou dead? Nay, Thou canst not die! Thou art merely hiding Thyself. Hast Thou chosen me for this task? I ask Thee!

I am sure Thou hast. Were so, let it be, then. Thy will be done. For never in my life did I intend to oppose such great lords. Never had I resolved to do this! O God, stand by me in the Name of Thy dear Son, Jesus Christ, Who shall be my protector and defender, yea, my mighty fortress, through the might and the strengthening of Thy Holy Spirit. Lord, where tarriest Thou? O Thou my God, where art Thou? Come, O come! I am ready to lay down my life for this cause, meek as a lamb, for the cause is righteous and it is Thine. I will not separate myself from Thee forever. Be that decision made, in Thy Name!

The world must leave my conscience unconquered even though it were full of devils and though my body, the work and creation of Thy hands, should be utterly ruined! But Thy Word and Spirit are a good compensation to me, and after all, only the body is concerned. The soul is Thine, and belongs to Thee, and willingly it will remain eternally. Amen. God help me. Amen.”

Thanks to Ben at Symphony of Scripture for already having it posted.

Is This You?

Posted: October 26, 2009 in General Discussion, life, Scripture
Tags: , ,

The heading in my Bible over this set of verses reads “Marks of a true Christian”…………..

 

Rom 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Rom 12:11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rom 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Rom 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Rom 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rom 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Rom 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Rom 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. Rom 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Rom 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Rom 12:20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Rom 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I honestly know very few people that fit this criteria……….

This video goes along with a discussion that a dear friend and brother in Christ, and I have been having for the past couple of days. Any thoughts?

 

This has been a source of confusion for me. Anytime I bring it up I get different responses so I’m beginning to doubt there is an answer that will satisfy me. Of all the different arguments I’ve heard, I tend to agree with Dr.McMahon’s explaination the most. I thought I’d post it here and maybe start a discussion on the topic of “legalism vs holiness”.  If nothing else I would just like to hear where you stand on the subject, and if it’s a struggle for you as well…………enjoy.

There is a dilemma in the Christian church today which, by no means, will be cleared up easily. It is characterized by people who state things like, “We are a New Testament church,” or “We do not need the Law anymore because we are under grace.” Or, “People who keep the Law are Legalists.” If you have said things like these in the past, this tract is for you. We are going to look at the difference between what it means to be legalistic, and what it means to be obedient. There is a wide gulf between the two. But it seems many people have fallen short of what both of these mean.

There is an argument in the 21sth century church that goes like this: Jesus came to fulfill the Law, thus, we do not need to keep the Law. The idea continues as such: And we do not need to keep the Law because we are under the grace of Christ; we cannot earn salvation for ourselves in any way, so the Old Testament is invalid for rules of life and practice. As a matter of fact, there are many people who would throw out the Sermon on the Mount because Jesus expounds on the Law in that instance. They would place everything which alluded to or stated the Law in any way, out with the garbage. They do not give a satisfactory answer why God, in His providence, allowed the Old Testament to be included in our Bible since it deals with the Law. They are adamant that they do not need it, but cannot give a good answer to “why”. These people feel that observance to the Law, in any way, is an act of Legalism. And they do not want to become the church of Galatia again. So they have flown to grace, and thrown away the Law.

To define Legalism in a Biblical way would be to say “any person who takes the Law and uses it in a way which would merit salvation“. Legalism is an attempt at salvation. Yet, we often hear the term used like this, “Oh, those people are Legalists.” The Puritans were often stereotyped in this way. They were so forceful in bringing forth the meaning of the Law, that they were deemed legalists, and then subtitled puritanical. But if we really understand the definition above, then we find that people who follow the Law of God in a way which does not see it adding to the meritorious work of Jesus Christ and His cross are not Legalists. Legalists, by definition, would be saying that the Law helps us to gain salvation. This was the problem with the Judiaizers. They thought that by keeping the Law, plus believing in the work of Christ, made a person saved. In Galatians 5:3, Paul says, “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by Law; you have fallen from grace.” There were some who thought that being circumcised helped in salvation. But Paul says that the moment you add anything to the work of Christ, then you have fallen from grace. Christ’s work alone justifies the ungodly (Gal. 2:16; 3:11-13, 24; 6:13-14). (Sola Christus-Christ alone.) Read the Rest Here.

Here’s a list of links to some stories that I have come across today that might be of interest to you.

Phil Johnson on Rob Bell’s “evangelicalism”–Thank you Mr. Johnson!

James White responds to some thoughtless comments on Calvinism— Thanks Roger Sevin

What Bible verses to Memorize–  Thanks John Piper

Church discipline and Attendance (SBCVoices)-(read the comments as well)– Thanks Jason Smathers

“It is sad to find so many professing Christians who appear to regard the wrath of God as something for which they need to make an apology, or at least they wish there were no such thing. While some would not go so far as to openly admit that they consider it a blemish on the Divine character, yet they are far from regarding it with delight, they like not to think about it, and they rarely hear it mentioned without a secret resentment rising up in their hearts against it. Even with those who are more sober in their judgment, not a few seem to imagine that there is a severity about the Divine wrath which is too terrifying to form a theme for profitable contemplation. Others harbor the delusion that God’s wrath is not consistent with His goodness, and so seek to banish it from their thoughts.

Yes, many there are who turn away from a vision of God’s wrath as though they were called to look upon some blotch in the Divine character, or some blot upon the Divine government. But what saith the Scriptures? As we turn to them we find that God has made no attempt to conceal the fact of His wrath. He is not ashamed to make it known that vengeance and fury belong unto Him. His own challenge is, “See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand. For I lift up My hand to heaven, and say, I live forever, If I whet My glittering sword, and Mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to Mine enemies, and will reward them that hate Me” (Deut. 32:39-41). A study of the concordance will show that there are more references in Scripture to the anger, fury, and wrath of God, than there are to His love and tenderness. Because God is holy, He hates all sin; And because He hates all sin, His anger burns against the sinner: Psalm 7:11.

Now the wrath of God is as much a Divine perfection as is His faithfulness, power, or mercy. It must be so, for there is no blemish whatever, not the slightest defect in the character of God; yet there would be if “wrath” were absent from Him! Indifference to sin is a moral blemish, and he who hates it not is a moral leper. How could He who is the Sum of all excellency look with equal satisfaction upon virtue and vice, wisdom and folly? How could He who is infinitely holy disregard sin and refuse to manifest His “severity” (Rom. 9:12) toward it? How could He who delights only in that which is pure and lovely, loathe and hate not that which is impure and vile? The very nature of God makes Hell as real a necessity, as imperatively and eternally requisite as Heaven is. Not only is there no imperfection in God, but there is no perfection in Him that is less perfect than another.

The wrath of God is His eternal detestation of all unrighteousness. It is the displeasure and indignation of Divine equity against evil. It is the holiness of God stirred into activity against sin. It is the moving cause of that just sentence which He passes upon evil-doers. God is angry against sin because it is a rebelling against His authority, a wrong done to His inviolable sovereignty. Insurrectionists against God’s government shall be made to know that God is the Lord. They shall be made to feel how great that Majesty is which they despise, and how dreadful is that threatened wrath which they so little regarded. Not that God’s anger is a malignant and malicious retaliation, inflicting injury for the sake of it, or in return for injury received. No; while God will vindicate His dominion as the Governor of the universe, He will not be vindictive.

That Divine wrath is one of the perfections of God is not only evident from the considerations presented above, but is also clearly established by the express declarations of His own Word. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heavenRead More Here.