Posts Tagged ‘Mentors’

This Sunday my church will be saying good-bye to our Pastor and friend, Josh Buice. This is not a moment that I have been looking forward to. I just found this video of an interview with Paul Washer and I as I was listening to him describe how a Pastor should be, I couldn’t help but to think THIS IS Bro. Josh. I hope that the members at Cornerstone realize what we are losing and that they are praying along with me that God has a man like this in store for us. Prays Mill Baptist Church you are getting a wonderful Pastor and great man of God. Cornerstone I pray that we continue pressing forward and building on the foundation that has been laid, For the Glory of God alone……….

Here’s and excerpt from one of Pastor Josh’s sermons…………..

“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.

From The Shepherd’s Fellowship

Yesterday we looked at seven common conditions or tests that don’t necessarily prove or disprove the existence of saving faith. What then are the marks of genuine saving faith? Are there some reliable tests from the Word of God that enable us to know for certain whether one’s faith is real? Thankfully there are at least nine biblical criteria for examining the genuineness of saving faith.

Nine conditions that prove genuine saving faith.

1. Love for God

First of all a deep and abiding love for God is one of the supreme evidences of genuine saving faith. This gets to the heart of the issue. Romans 8:7 says “the carnal mind is enmity [hostility, hatred] against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” Thus, if a man’s heart is at enmity with God there is no basis for assuming the presence of saving faith. Those who are truly saved love God, but those who are not truly saved resent God and His sovereignty. Internally they are rebellious toward God and His plan for their life. But the regenerate person is set to love the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. His delight is in the infinite excellencies of God. God is the first and highest affection of his renewed soul. God has become his chief happiness and source of satisfaction. He seeks after God and thirsts for the living God.

By the way, we must be careful to distinguish the difference between that kind of true love for God that seeks His glory from the kind of self-serving love that sees God primarily as a means of personal fulfillment and gain. True saving faith doesn’t believe in Christ so that Christ will make one happy. The heart that truly loves God desires to please God and glorify Him. Jesus taught that if someone loved their father and mother more than they loved Christ, they were not worthy of Him. In Matthew 10:37-39 Jesus put it like this: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:37-39)

The question then is this: Do you love God? Do you love His nature? Do you love His glory? Do you love His name? Do you love His kingdom? Do you love His holiness? Do you love His will? Is your heart lifted when you sing His praises-because you love Him? Supreme love for God is decisive evidence of true faith.

2. Repentance from Sin

A proper love for God necessarily involves a hatred for sin that leads to repentance. That should be obvious. Who wouldn’t understand that? If we truly love someone we seek their best interests. Their well being is our greatest concern. If a man says to his wife, “I love you but I could care less what happens to you,” we would rightly question his love for her. True love seeks the highest good of its object. If we say that we love God, then we will hate whatever is an offense to Him. Sin blasphemes God. Sin curses God. Sin seeks to destroy God’s work and His kingdom. Sin killed His Son. So when someone says, “I love God, but I tolerate sin,” then there is every reason to question the genuineness of his love for God. One cannot love God without hating that which is set to destroy Him. True love for God will therefore manifest itself through confession and repentance. The man who loves God will be grieved over his sin and will want to confess it to God and forsake it.

In examining our faith we should ask: “Do I have a settled conviction concerning the evil of all sin? Does sin appear to me as the evil and bitter thing that it really is? Does conviction of sin increase in me as I walk with Christ? Do I hate it not primarily because it is ruinous to my own soul or because it is an offense to the God I love? Does the sin itself grieve me or am I only grieved over the consequences of my sin. What grieves me most-my misfortune or my sin? Do my sins appear to me as many, frequent and aggravated? Do I find myself grieved over my own sin more than the sins of others?” Genuine saving faith loves God and hates what He hates, which is sin. That attitude results in real repentance.

3. Genuine Humility

Saving faith is manifested through genuine humility. Jesus said blessed are those who are poor in spirit, and those who mourn [their sin], and those who are meek, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:3-6)-all marks of humility. In Matthew 18 Jesus said that “unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). True saving faith comes as a little child-humble and dependent. It is not the man who is full of himself who is saved, but the man who denies himself, takes up his cross daily and follows Christ (Matthew 16:24).

In the Old Testament we see that the Lord receives those who come with a broken and contrite spirit (Psalm 34:18; 51:17; Isaiah 57:15; 66:2). James wrote: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). We must come as the prodigal son, broken and humble. Remember what he said to his father-“Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son” (Luke 15:21). Those possessing genuine saving faith do not come boastfully to God with their religious achievements or spiritual accomplishments in hand. They come empty-handed in genuine humility.

4. Devotion to God’s Glory

True saving faith is manifested by a devotion to God’s glory. Whatever believers do, whether they eat or drink, their desire is to see God glorified. Christians do what they do because they want to bring glory to God.

Without question Christians fail in each of these areas, but the direction of a Christian’s life is to love God, hate sin, to live in humility and self-denial, recognizing his unworthiness and being devoted to the glory of God. It is not the perfection of one’s life but the direction of a life that provides evidence of regeneration.

5. Continual Prayer

Humble, submissive, believing prayer is mark of true faith. We cry “Abba, Father” because the Spirit within us prompts that cry. Jonathan Edwards once preached a sermon titled, “Hypocrites are Deficient in the Duty of Secret Prayer.” It’s true. Hypocrites may pray publicly, because that’s what hypocrites want to do. Their desire is to impress people-but they are deficient in the duty of secret prayer. True believers have a personal and private prayer life with God. They regularly seek communion with God through prayer.

6. Selfless Love

An important characteristic of genuine saving faith is selfless love. James wrote, “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well” (James 2:8). John wrote, “Whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17). If you love God you will not only hate what offends Him, but you will love those whom He loves. “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death” (1 John 3:14). And why do we love God and love others? Because this is the believer’s response to His love for us. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Jesus said we will know that we are His disciples by our love for each other (John 13:35).

7. Separation from the World

Positively, believers are marked by a love for God and for fellow believers. Negatively, the Christian is characterized by the absence of love for the world. True believers are not those who are ruled by worldly affections, but their affection and devotion is toward God and His kingdom.

In 1 Corinthians 2:12 Paul wrote that “we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” In 1 John 2:15 we read: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15). True saving faith separates one from the pursuits of this world–not perfectly, as we all fail in these areas, but the direction of a believer’s life is upward. He feels the pull of heaven on his soul. Christians are those whom God has delivered from the power of darkness and conveyed into the kingdom of His Son. The believer is marked by the absence of love or enslavement to the satanically controlled world system (Ephesians 2:1-3; Colossians 1:13; James 4:4).

8. Spiritual Growth

True believers grow. When God begins a true work of salvation in a person, He finishes and perfects that work. Paul expressed that assurance when he wrote in Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

If you are a true Christian, you are going to be growing-and that means you are going to be more and more like Christ. Life produces itself. If you’re alive you are going to grow, there’s no other way. You’ll improve. You’ll increase. The Spirit will move you from one level of glory to the next. So examine your life. Do you see spiritual growth? Do you see the decreasing frequency of sin? Is there an increasing pattern of righteousness and devotion to God?

9. Obedience

Obedient living is not one of the optional tracks given for believers to walk. All true believers are called to a life of obedience. Jesus taught that every branch that abides in Him bears fruit (John 15:1-8). Paul wrote that believers “are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). That speaks of obedience. We are saved unto the obedience of faith (see 1 Peter 1:2).

How can we know our faith is genuine? Examine your life in the light of God’s Word. Do you see these characteristics in your life? Do you have a love for God, hatred for sin, humility, devotion to God’s glory, a pattern of personal and private prayer, selfless love, separation from the world, the evidence of spiritual growth and obedience. These are the real evidences of genuine saving faith.

I received this e-mail this morning from my friend Jeremy Strang (Time2Stand). I thought it was pretty awesome and thought I ‘d share it with you guys.

 

“These days we have, and continuously are, abandoning the preaching of Spirit led men of the past.  Therefore, I have decided to revisit George Whitefield.  This quote is also quoted in the soon to be released book, Christian – a dangerous title to claim.”

 

       “Give me leave to ask you, in the presence of God, whether you know the time, and if you do not know exactly the time, do you know there was a time, when God wrote bitter things against you, when the arrows of the Almighty were within you?  Was ever the remembrance of your sins grievous to you?  Was the burden of your sins intolerable to your thoughts?  Did you ever see that God’s wrath might justly fall upon you, on account of your actual transgressions against God?  Were you ever in all your life sorry for your sins?  Could you ever say, My sins are gone over my head as a burden too heavy for me to bear?  Did you ever experience any such thing as this?  Did ever any such thing as this pass between God and you soul?  If not, for Jesus Christ’s sake, do not call yourselves Christians; you may speak peace to your hearts, but there is no peace.  May the Lord awaken you, may the Lord convert you, may the Lord give you peace, if it be his will, before you go home!”

            “When the sinner is first awakened, he begins to wonder – How came I to be so wicked?  The Spirit of God then strikes in, and shows that he has no good thing in him by nature; then he sees that he is altogether gone out of the way, that he is altogether become abominable, and the poor creature is made to lie down at the foot of the throne of God, and to acknowledge that God would be just to damn him, just to cut him off, though he never had committed one actual sin in his life.  Did you ever feel and experience this, any of you – to justify God in your damnation – to own that you are by nature children of wrath, and that God may justly cut you off, though you never actually had offended him in all your life?  If you were ever truly convicted, if your hearts were ever truly cut, if self were truly taken out of you, you would be made to see and feel this.  And if you have never felt the weight of original sin, do not call yourselves Christians.  I am verily persuaded original sin is the greatest burden of a true convert; this ever grieves the regenerate soul, the sanctified soul.  The indwelling of sin in the heart is the burden of a converted person; it is the burden of a true Christian.  He continually cries out, ‘O! who will deliver me from this body of death’, this indwelling corruption in my heart?  This is that which disturbs a poor soul most.  And, therefore, if you never felt this inward corruption, if you never saw that God might justly curse you for it, indeed, my dear friends, you may speak peace to your hearts, but I fear nay, I know, there is no true peace.”

            “Further: before you can speak peace to your hearts, you must not only be troubled for the sins of your life, the sin of your nature, but likewise for the sins of your best duties and performances.  When a poor soul is somewhat awakened by the terrors of the Lord, then the poor creature, being born under the covenant of works, flies directly to a covenant of works again.  And as Adam and Eve hid themselves among the trees of the garden, and sewed fig leaves together to cover their nakedness, so the poor sinner, when awakened, flies to his duties and to his performances, to hid himself from God, and goes to patch up a righteousness of his own.  Says he, I will be mighty good now – I will reform – I will do all I can; and then certainly Jesus Christ will have mercy on me.  But before you can speak peace to your heart, you must be brought to see that God may damn you for the best prayer you ever put up; you must be brought to see that all your duties – all your righteousness – as the prophet elegantly expresses it – put them all together, are so far from recommending you to God, are so far from being any motive and inducement to God to have mercy on your poor soul, that he will see them to be filthy rags, a menstruous cloth – that God hates them, and cannot away with them, if you bring them to him in order to recommend you to his favour.  My dear friends, what is there in our performances to recommend us unto God?  Our persons are in an unjustified state by nature:  ‘They that are in the flesh cannot please God.’  You may do things materially good, but you cannot do a thing formally and rightly good; because nature cannot act above itself.  It is impossible that a man who is unconverted can act for the glory of God; he cannot do anything in faith, and ‘whatsoever is not of faith is sin’.”

            “Our best duties are as so many splendid sins.  Before you can speak peace in your heart, you must not only be made sick of your original and actual sin, but you must be made sick of your righteousness, of all your duties and performances.  There must be a deep conviction before you can be brought out of your self-righteousness, you cannot come to Jesus Christ.”

            “But then, before you can speak peace to your souls, there is one particular sin you must be greatly troubled for, and yet I fear there are few of you think what it is; it is the reigning, the damning sin of the Christian world, and yet the Christian world seldom or never think of it.  And pray what is that?  It is what most of you think you are not guilty of – and that is, the sin of unbelief.”

            “I appeal to your own hearts, if you would not think me uncharitable, if I doubted whether any of you believed in Christ; and yet, I fear upon examination, we should find that most of you have not so much faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the devil himself.  I am persuaded the devil believes more of the Bible than most of us do.”[1]

 

“They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.”[2]

 

            “Most of you, if you examine your hearts, must confess that God never yet spoke peace to you; you are children of the devil, if Christ is not in you, if God has not spoken peace to your heart.  Poor soul!  What a cursed condition are you in.  I would not be in your case for ten thousand, thousand worlds.  Why?  You are just hanging over hell.  What peace can you have when God is your enemy, when the wrath of God is abiding upon your poor soul?  Awake, then, you that are sleeping in a false peace, awake, ye carnal professors, ye hypocrites that go to church, receive the sacrament, read your Bibles, and never felt the power of God upon your hearts; you that are formal professors, you that are baptized heathens; awake, awake, and do not rest on the bottom.  Blame me not for addressing myself to you; indeed, it is out of love to your souls.  I see you are lingering in your Sodom, and wanting to stay there; but I come to you as the angel did to Lot, to take you by the hand.  Come away, my dear brethren – fly, fly, fly for your lives to Jesus Christ, fly to a bleeding God, fly to a throne of grace; and beg of God to break your hearts, beg of God to convince you of your actual sins, beg of God to convince you of your original sin, beg of God to convince you of your self-righteousness – beg of God to give you faith, and to enable you to close with Jesus Christ.  O you that are secure, I must be a son of thunder to you, and O that God may awaken you, though it be with thunder; it is out of love, indeed, that I speak to you .  I know by sad experience what it is to be lulled asleep with a false peace; long was I lulled asleep, long did I think myself a Christian, when I knew nothing of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I went perhaps farther than many of you do; I used to fast twice a-week, I used to pray sometimes nine times a-day, I used to receive the sacrament constantly every Lord’s-day; and yet I knew nothing of Jesus Christ in my heart, I knew not that I must be a new creature – I knew nothing of inward religion in my soul.

            I hope God does not intend to let me preach in vain; I hope God will reach some of your precious souls, and awaken some of you out of your carnal security; I hope there are some who are willing to come to Christ, and beginning to think that they have been building upon a false foundation.”[3]

 

~ George Whitefield ~

WOW! This is awesome!!

Does it lie within the province of man’s will to accept or reject the Lord Jesus as Saviour? Granted that the Gospel is preached to the sinner, that the Holy Spirit convicts him of his lost condition, does it, in the final analysis, lie within the power of his own will to resist or yield himself up to God? The answer to this question defines our conception of human depravity. That man is a fallen creature all professing Christians will allow, but what many of them mean by “fallen” is often difficult to determine. The general impression seems to be that man is now mortal, that he is no longer in the condition in which he left the hands of his Creator, that he is liable to disease, that he inherits evil tendencies; but, that if he employs his powers to the best of his ability, somehow he will be happy at last. O, how far short of the sad truth! Infirmities, sickness, even corporeal death, are but trifles in comparison with the moral and spiritual effects of the Fall! It is only by consulting the Holy Scriptures that we are able to obtain some conception of the extent of that terrible calamity. When we say that man is totally depraved, we mean that the entrance of sin into the human constitution has affected every part and faculty of man’s being. Total depravity means that man is, in spirit and soul and body, the slave of sin and the captive of the Devil—walking “according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). This statement ought not to need arguing: it is a common fact of human experience. Man is unable to realize his own aspirations and materialize his own ideals. He cannot do the things that he would. There is moral inability which paralyzes him. This is proof positive that he is no free man, but instead, the slave of sin and Satan. “Ye are of your father the Devil, and the lusts (desires) of your father ye will do.” (John 8:44). Sin is more than an act or a series of acts; it is a man’s make-up. It has blinded the understanding, corrupted the heart, and alienated the mind from God. And the will has not escaped. The will is under the dominion of sin and Satan. Therefore, the will is not free. In short, the affections love as they do and the will chooses as it does because of the state of the heart, and because the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked “There is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11).

We had the awesome privilege of having Brother David Miller preach a revival at our church a few months ago. My son found this video on Youtube and I thought I’d give you all a sample of blessing we received.