the long road

December 12, 2017

Why me? Why now? What is God doing? Suffering is a tool God uses to get our attention and to accomplish His purposes in our lives. It is designed to build our trust in the Almighty, but suffering requires the right response if it is to be successful in accomplishing God’s purposes. Suffering forces us to turn from trust in our own resources to living by faith in God’s resources.

Suffering is not in itself virtuous, nor is it a sign of holiness. It is also not a means of gaining points with God, or of subduing the flesh (as in asceticism). When it is possible, suffering is to be avoided. Christ avoided suffering unless it meant acting in disobedience to the Father’s will.

“In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider—God has made the one as well as the other so that man may not discover anything that will be after him” (Eccl. 7:14)

All suffering is not, for instance, a product of our own foolishness, self-induced misery, or sin. It is true, however, that rarely does suffering not reveal areas of need, areas of weakness, and wrong attitudes that need to be removed like dross in the gold-refining process (cf. 1 Pet. 1:6-7).

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:6-7)

No matter the reason, even if it is not God’s discipline for blatant carnality, it is a purifier for none of us will ever be perfect in this life.

Philippians 3:12-14 12 Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The question we must each face is not, ‘if’ we are going to have trials in life, but how will we respond to them?

1 Thessalonians 3:3 so that no man may be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this.

1 Peter 4:19 Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

Suffering itself is not the thing that produces faith or maturity. It is only a tool that God uses to bring us to Himself so we will respond to Him and His Word. It forces us to turn from trust in our own resources to living by faith in God’s resources. It causes us to put first things first. Ultimately, it is the Word and the Spirit of God that produces faith and mature Christlike character (Ps. 119:67, 71).

talk to God, talk to a friend, get counseling, change doctors, don’t give up, express your self, be honest with your self, cry, there is a place a time when you will find yourself closer to God.

and most of all find a reason to laugh.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

 

26

December 6, 2017

So a few things you may have noticed about this devotional site.

  1. There are no ads

  2. There are no buttons to push

  3. There are pictures occasionally

  4. It’s about Theology

  5. It’s about Your Walk with God

  6. It’s about Growing into Christian Maturity

  7. We fight bad theology, crack pot preachers, bad books

  8. We dig rock and roll

  9. It is a daily devotion

  10. Some are long

  11. Some are short

  12. Prayer requests are taken through scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

  13. Questions are answered

  14. We do offer counseling

  15. I’ve been a Pastor and Professional Counselor for over 40 years.

  16. Everyone deserves a second chance

  17. Yes it is true that I don’t recommend authors unless they’ve been dead for 25 years (it takes that long for all the skeletons to come out of the closet and be time tested).

  18. And it’s kind of the same with Hymns, I listen to Hymns not gospel music (just my personal preference).

  19. I’m a veteran

  20. And lifetime NRA member

  21. Was a Pentecostal Pastor for 20 years

  22. Now I’m in the middle of the Road, and have gone in a semi-non-Pentecostal ministry, although I still believe in the gifts being used properly.

  23. Believe that Bible Reading and Prayer are to be the two major operations, habit, daily exercise, of all believers.

  24. Traveled extensively with all the big name whoop de doos of Pentecost during the 70’s and 80’s; point being ‘some’ of the them I wouldn’t let near a dog in heat. Other’s were stand up guys on the road and in hotels.

  25. And last but not least there is not one shred of political correctness or tolerance of non-biblical lifestyles.

  26. I’ve been married 43 years to the greatest, most lovely and supportive wife in the world. I still almost pass out when we kiss.

And that’s the short list. Not sure why the devotion went this way but it did.

I WANT TO HEARTILY THANK THE FAITHFUL THAT ENCOURAGE, PRAY AND BLESS US CONTINUALLY, GOD BLESS YOU GREATLY.

AND AS ALWAYS, SHOUT OUT TO US AT SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

 

MORE RED MEAT

December 1, 2017

Fluff or Stuff

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,

Romans 5:12-19 On account of this, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death entered by means of sin, and so death spread into all men, because all sinned. 13 For until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 But death reigned from Adam until Moses, even upon the ones who had not sinned in the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 And the gift is not like what resulted through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment from one transgression resulted in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift from many transgressions resulted in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more the ones who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 18 So then, as through one transgression condemnation came to all men, even so through one righteous act came justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

Having described how God has provided His righteousness to sinful man through faith in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ (5:1-11), Paul begins in 5:12-19 to contrast that work of redemption with the work of the sin of Adam which created the need for redemption. In commenting on this passage, Jonathan Edwards wrote that Paul . . .

. . . had particularly spoken of the depravity and ruin of mankind in their natural state, in the foregoing part of this chapter; representing them as being sinners, ungodly, enemies, exposed to divine wrath, and without strength. This naturally leads him to observe, how this so great and deplorable an event came to pass; how this universal sin and ruin came into the world. . . [the Jews] were prejudiced against the doctrine of universal sinfulness, and exposedness to wrath by nature, looking on themselves as by nature holy, and favourites of God, because they were the children of Abraham . . . it was therefore exceeding proper, and what the apostle’s design most naturally led him to, that they should take off their eyes from their father Abraham, their father in distinction from other nations, and direct them to their father Adam, who was the common father of mankind, equally of Jews and Gentiles.

“. . . something has been accomplished by Christ which is as universal in its effectiveness as was the sin of the first man. Paul is no longer speaking just about the Church: his vision now includes the whole of humanity.” Christ is described in another letter as the “Last Adam” and is thus, by inference, God’s ideal Man fulfilling what Adam did not fulfill and yet was designed to fulfill. Christ ruled “. . . over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth,” and He thus demonstrated that He fulfilled God’s purpose for man as man. Christ also lived a life of obedience that Adam did not. This is seen dramatically portrayed in the two garden scenes. The garden of Eden provided Adam a choice to submit to the Father’s will or to die because of His sin. Adam willingly chose to sin, and this brought eternal ramifications for the whole human race. The garden of Gethsemene provided Christ a “choice” to submit to the Father’s will to die to pay for the sin of mankind in Adam, yet there was no other choice for Him, because as God’s ideal Man, Christ would obey the Father’s will above His own. Christ willingly chose to die, and this brought eternal ramifications for the whole human race. The two gardens and the two choices brought two results which are the topics of a theological comparison and contrast in Paul’s discussion in Romans 5:12-19.

The “Natural Headship” view. This view squares with the principle that each person pays for his own sins because each person was not only represented in Adam, but was actually present in Adam when He sinned. Paul said in v. 12 that death spread into all men because all sinned, each a sinner for his own sin. Calvin concurs:

Hence, even infants bringing their condemnation with them from their mother’s womb, suffer not for another’s, but for their own defect. For although they have not yet produced the fruits of their own unrighteousness, they have the seed implanted in them. Nay, their whole nature is, as it were, a seed-bed of sin, and therefore cannot but be odious and abominable to God. Hence it follows, that it is properly deemed sinful in the sight of God; for there could be no condemnation without guilt.

(this is the simple version, which I guess I should have put first)

The results of Adam’s sin and Christ’s righteous act have given the human race, all under condemnation in Adam, the potential for all to be righteous in Jesus Christ for those “who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness.”

An important application to the church today is to preach the gospel to all men in fulfillment of the Great Commission. All men being sinners in the one man, Adam, constitute the need for them to hear also of the righteousness provided through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Thank God for the Gift of Jesus Christ. The real reason for the Christmas season.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Ruby I, a very young 77, she fell today for the first time and is more devastated mentally than physically. (she kept saying this is what old women do).

Pray Jack P, needs to decide if the military is a career and a calling.

 

was that Plato or Play-dough

November 30, 2017

The gospel of Mark is considered the first of the written Gospel’s by many scholars. Jesus first words were “repent” not learn philosophy. I am rather alarmed by so called Christian philosophers that have raised the hue and cry that theology must give way to philosophy or that therefore no intelligent, scholarly discussion can take place. And because of this the new purveyors have deemed themselves the new heralds of the gospel.

Yet their theology has been compromised so that it is more palatable to the so called intelligent atheist.

Well baloney, they have forgotten all the scriptures that convey the truth about man’s intelligence and wisdom being dung, foolishness; and the power of the Word of God to convict and persuade and provide the only true concept of God.

It amazes me that these “wise men” usually pick theology books that also water down the truth of God’s word and plan. Or that they won’t call themselves Christians but ‘Theists’. So how does a Theist become more Christ like it they have a problem with an inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God that is the answer to all of life’s questions and is not reduced to a bunch of egg heads creating a mathematical formula for truth. God is the epitome of truth, not philosophy.

So don’t stone me if you’re a philosophy major, you still need Jesus, the only way to understand God. The only way in to heaven (no mother Mary isn’t going to do it either).

And stop with the stupid questions about where evil comes from, it’s been answered, just like the chicken or the egg question, yes the bible has already answered this question, in the beginning God created the chicken not the egg. Duh.

Invest your self in the study of God’s word if you want to truly be wise, and stop watching you tube, your rotting your brain.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

the truth about forgivness

November 28, 2017

I am amazed at all the “teachers” out there that say they are “biblical” or I’m a Christian whatever. Unfortunately so many people don’t know what the bible really teaches, so they don’t know they are being duped with distorted truths and just plain nonsense. These new fads come up with “secrets revealed” and yet they either got their so called training off a cereal box or don’t have any discernment at all. And in a bid to be famous or trendy the come up with sayings that really don’t mean anything. But hey put a pretty face on it and a package with great graphics and you have a best selling falsehood.

Which brings us to forgiveness, biblical forgiveness, not some new age, touchy feely nonsense.

Joseph had a solid reason for wanting revenge against his brothers: They planned to kill him but instead sold him into slavery and told his parents he had died. And then, to his surprise, their paths crossed again. Now he was in a position of power and authority; he could have had his brothers executed or sold as slaves. Instead, he forgave them (see Ge 45:4–7).

 Joseph understood that God had used the crime to save the lives of others (v. 5). But knowing God used the situation for good probably didn’t remove all of Joseph’s hurt and pain. Forgiveness is necessary, but it isn’t always easy. Knowing what is and is not required of us can help us through the process of forgiving those who have wronged us.

 Forgiveness requires that:

  ➤ You understand what it is—Forgiveness is a decision and a promise to release a person by canceling the real debt the person has with you. It’s returning to God the right to take care of justice.

 ➤ You focus on how God has forgiven you—The starting point of our willingness and ability to forgive is God’s forgiveness of our sins. Reflect on the many ways you have sinned against your Creator and then think about the price he paid so that you could be forgiven and restored. Focusing on your gratitude for what God has done in forgiving your sins often makes it easier to forgive the hurts caused by others.

 ➤ You accept that it is not optional—Gratitude to God will often motivate us to forgive others. But when the hurt and pain is too deep and forgiveness seems impossible, we might need to remind ourselves that forgiving others is not optional—it’s a prerequisite for our own forgiveness. As Jesus said, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Mt 6:14–15).

 ➤ You separate your feelings from forgiveness—If you rely on your feelings to let you know when it is “time” to forgive, you might never do it. The time to forgive is always now, not when our feelings catch up or the hurt has passed.

 ➤ You realize psychological relief is not the reason—Often when we forgive someone who has wronged us we will eventually feel a sense of relief or peace. While this is a welcome benefit of forgiveness, it is not the reason we forgive.

 ➤ You know the initiative is on the forgiver—May we wait until someone seeks our forgiveness before we forgive them? No, we may not. Jesus expects us to forgive those who sin against us even before they request it or take responsibility for what they have done (see Mk 11:25).

 ➤ You realize it is an ongoing process—We tend to want a “once and for all” forgiveness event, but Jesus reminds us that with some people or situations, we will need to forgive over and over and over again (see Mt 18:21–22).

  Forgiveness does not require that:

  ➤ You forget—We can forgive without forgetting the situation that caused the debt. For instance, if someone has physically abused you in the past, you can forgive them without putting yourself into a situation where they can continue to harm you. Forgiveness might lead us to seek reconciliation, but we are not required to put ourselves in danger. While God commands us to forgive others, he never told us to keep trusting those who violated our trust or even to like being around those who hurt us.

 ➤ You necessarily have a face-to-face meeting or restoration of relationship with the offender—(you do not)

  Though we are called to forgive those who sin against us, and we must be ready and willing to do so (attitudinal forgiveness), pursuing relational reconciliation is complex and not automatic. As a general rule, if the offender has not repented, has not acknowledged the sin, and does not ask for forgiveness (transactional forgiveness), reconciliation is not warranted. The decision to reconcile is also impacted by the duration and severity of the sin involved.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

short and sweet

November 27, 2017

We have been given to Jesus by God. Stop struggling, stop straining, rest, we are kept by Christ, Sanctified, filled, blessed, redeemed, washed, have unsearchable richness in Christ. There’s not enough room to list all we have in Jesus, but remember this……

Seven times Jesus speaks of believers as given to Him by the Father John 17:2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him

 John 17:6; John 17:9; John 17:11; Joh 17:12; John 17:24. Jesus Christ is God’s love-gift to the world John 3:16, and believers are the Father’s love-gift to Jesus Christ. It is Christ who commits the believer to the Father for safe keeping, so that the believer’s security rests upon the Father’s faithfulness to His Son Jesus. Talk about eternal security.

If you have made a confession of faith, are trusting Jesus to redeem, save and present to the Father, then rest in your secure position of salvation. Now you just have to grow into maturity.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

LET JESUS DO IT

November 26, 2017

  “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will!” (Eph. 1:11).

  It is easy to just “let someone else do it,” but it is so unrewarding. There is a Christ-honoring ministry of being and sharing awaiting each believer, and the secret is to let Christ do it!

  “Our Father has a different line of things for everyone, and each of us has been sent into this world for some special mission. It is not a question whether it is great or small; it may be only a flower to shed fragrance, though this is really the greatest of all.

  “There is no higher service than moral influence, ‘thy whole body . . . full of light’; and this, of all the highest moral order, is within the compass of all. ‘Christ shall be magnified in my body whether by life or by death’ (Phil. 1:20).

  “A mark of the true servant is that he is consciously nothing. John could speak of himself as only a ‘voice,’ and a greater than John was consciously ‘less than the least of all saints.’ The moment we think ourselves to be anything, we are out of the servant’s true position and spirit. There is a beautiful contrast between John’s account of himself, and the Lord’s description of him (John 1:22–27; Luke 7:26–28). The more worthy we are of the Lord’s commendation, the less do we think of ourselves.

  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10).

I was listening to Ravi Zacharias finish a sermon today that was very different than his usual fare. Not a quote but the gist of what he said. “Can you preach a powerful sermon? No, but there is someone inside me that can.” Are you a humble man, No but there is someone inside me that can be.”

You get the idea, he was a lot more eloquent than the example I give, it was very moving.

He opened his sermon with this quote which I mentioned very recently but it is so powerful it bears repeating. “Alexander Pope is the author of this quote, regarding Jesus turning the water in to wine, ‘the conscious water when it saw it’s master, Jesus, it blushed.”

You need to really let that sink down into your soul.

And this same Jesus, what will happen when you see Jesus? What transformation will take place? And I assure you it will happen every time, and that is the reason we lose the desire to gaze upon him, because of the selfishness of our heart, we don’t always want to change.

Which is why I ask you to remember this great old classic gospel tune.

O soul are you weary and troubled?

No light in the darkness you see?

There’s light for a look at the Savior,

And life more abundant and free:

Turn you eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Let Jesus do it.

oh yes you are

November 25, 2017

Bring back solid biblical thinking, stop apple picking, you know where you get to ignore the bible truths you want and pick the ones you do. Making all kinds of excuses. It’s either all the bible or none at all.

I argue that one of the most important truths that needs to be re-emphasized in our day is the doctrine of the total depravity of the human heart. If we do not properly understand the Bible on this matter, we cannot fully understand the gospel for ourselves, let alone make it plain to others. Nor will we understand what the Bible teaches about sanctification (growth in holiness) if we are not clear on the evil that lurks within our hearts, even as regenerate people.

That doctrine could hardly be stated more emphatically than it is in Genesis 6:5: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” We are not basically good, decent folks who will do what is right if we’re only given the chance. The very core of our being–”every intent of the thoughts of our hearts” is “only evil continually.” It’s not just that people have a mean streak or that we occasionally sin. God’s declaration is that “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” In case we missed it or are inclined to apply it only to the Hitler’s of the world, God repeats the assessment after the flood with reference to the most godly man on earth, Noah, and his descendents, “the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (8:21).

Because the doctrine of total depravity is often misunderstood, I first will define it. Because it is often disbelieved, minimized, or attacked, I then will defend it biblically. Finally, because we live in a day that often despises doctrine as boring and impractical, I will apply it.

Total depravity defined:

  1. WHAT TOTAL DEPRAVITY IS NOT:

Total depravity does not mean that people are as wicked and sinful as they could be. Nor does it mean that people are incapable of doing good deeds. Even those who have never heard of Jesus Christ are able to love their children and even sacrifice their own lives for the sake of family, friends, or sometimes even for strangers. Many people who do not know Christ are honest, even when it costs them.

  1. WHAT TOTAL DEPRAVITY MEANS:

Total depravity refers to the nature of fallen persons, not to their deeds. The word “total” refers to the total person–that every aspect of the person–mind, will, emotions, body–is corrupted by sin; and to the total human race, that every person since Adam and Eve, except for Jesus Christ, has been born with a nature that is alienated from God and in rebellion against God. Also, depravity must be viewed in relation to God, not by comparing men with men. With reference to God, total depravity means that no one is able in and of himself to do anything to choose God, to seek God, to please God, to love God, to glorify God, or to merit His salvation. Left to himself, every person will seek the things of self and sin. We are as unable to seek God as a corpse can choose to get up and walk (Eph. 2:1-3). The Westminster Confession states it clearly. Speaking of Adam and Eve it says (VI:II, III, IV),

By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the parts and faculties of soul and body. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed; and the same death in sin, and corrupted nature, conveyed to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.

So total depravity refers to the extent of the damage, not necessarily to the degree. To illustrate, if you put a drop of deadly bacteria in a glass of water, it contaminates the entire glass. You may add a spoonful of bacteria, which makes it more potent, but the little drop is enough to pollute it all. Adam’s transgression was imputed to his posterity, so that all are polluted by sin.

Adam was the representative of the human race, so that his sin was charged to all who followed. Some will protest, “That’s not fair!” But several things must be said. First, there is nothing unfair about the concept of representation. Our entire government is built on it. The decisions our elected officials make affect us. But you may still protest, “I didn’t vote for Adam to represent me.” But, God did! God determined that Adam’s choice would represent the human race. We have no reason to believe that we would have acted any differently had we been there ourselves. When our representative fell into sin, the human race was linked to him, so that all are born in sin. We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because by nature we are sinners. This is what total depravity means.

Total depravity defended:

We can only look at a few of the many verses in both the Old and New Testaments which defend this doctrine:

In Psalm 51:5, David laments, “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” We are born in sin.

Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” The word “sick” is used of an incurable wound; here, the meaning is metaphorical of sin that is beyond human hope of fixing. We’re terminal!

The doctrine is also inherent in Ezekiel 36:25-27, when the Lord promises, “I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from al your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” The sinner cannot follow God unless God performs a heart transplant and gives him His Spirit.

Jesus taught the depravity of our hearts in Mark 7:20-23: “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”

In John 8:34, Jesus taught that “everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin,” and that only He could set us free.

Paul, quoting from the Old Testament, spells it out forcefully in Romans 3:10-18 (citing only 10-13 here): “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.”

In Romans 8:7-8, he emphasizes the inability of the sinner to follow God: “… the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

In 1 Corinthians 2:14 Paul states that the natural man not only does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, but cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 he explains that Satan, “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, …”

In Ephesians 2:1-3, he says that we were all dead in our trespasses and sins and that by nature we are children of wrath. In Ephesians 4:18, he states that unbelievers are “darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their hearts.”

While believers are freed from sin’s penalty and from sin’s power, so that we can now live to please God, our sin nature (or, “the flesh”) is not eradicated until we are with the Lord. Romans 7 clearly teaches this, as do many other verses, such as 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

If you compile all these and many other verses, we see that fallen man is incurably wounded; blind; ignorant and unable and unwilling to know; born in sin and with a nature oriented to sin; hard-hearted; enslaved to sin; polluted at the very core of his being; and, dead. The Westminster Confession (IX:III) sums it up: “Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation: so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.”

In spite of the overwhelming biblical evidence of man’s total inability to do anything about his state of alienation from God, man’s proud flesh keeps inventing ways around this doctrine. Many deny it outright and insist that people are basically good at heart. Others deny it by insisting that fallen men have the “free will” to choose God, and thus be saved. But this gives man a part in God’s work of salvation and a ground for boasting, which contradicts many Scriptures:

John 1:13: “Who were born [spiritually] not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Romans 9:16: “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”

Philippians 2:13: “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

1 Corinthians 1:27-31, where three times Paul stresses that salvation rests on the fact that “God has chosen,” so “that no man should boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus…”

Those who argue in favor of so-called “free will” say that it is pointless, absurd, and a sham for God to command men to believe in Christ if they are not able by their own free will to believe. This objection was soundly refuted by Martin Luther in his diatribe against the Roman Catholic scholar, Erasmus, The Bondage of the Will [Revell], where he argues, rather, that by commanding us to do what no fallen sinner can do, God brings us to something we proud sinners deny, namely, the knowledge of our utter impotence, pride, and independence from God. In his words, “by thus breaking him down, and confounding him in his self-knowledge, he may make him ready for grace, and send him to Christ to be saved” (p. 162). Or, in the words of Augustine (1,000 years before Luther), “God bids us do what we cannot, that we may know what we ought to seek from him” (cited by Calvin, Institutes [II:V:7]).

Of course, before Augustine the Apostle Paul dealt with this same objection. In Romans 9, after arguing that man cannot choose God by his free will, but that salvation depends on God’s choosing men according to His sovereign mercy, he states (9:19), “You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?’” Note carefully Paul’s inspired answer, because it strikes at the very root of human depravity: “On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God?” (9:20). In other words, our very question shows the arrogance of our sinful hearts! If the righteous God chooses to damn the entire race of rebellious sinners, that is His just prerogative. If He chooses to save some who otherwise would helplessly perish in their sin, that is His right. But no one can boast by saying, “I chose God by my own free will.” Scripture is clear that if God had not rescued us by His sovereign grace, we all would have perished in our willful, proud rebellion against Him.

In the same vein, the Lord Jesus Christ stated (Matt. 11:25-27) that God had hidden spiritual truth from the “wise and intelligent,” and that no one knows God except “anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Then He proceeded to command men to do what He just stated they cannot do: “Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

Total depravity applied:

The doctrine of total depravity is at the very heart of the gospel, and thus the applications are many. But I must limit myself to four:

  1. THE DOCTRINE OF TOTAL DEPRAVITY SHOULD CAUSE ME TO DESPAIR COMPLETELY OF MYSELF, MY ABILITY, MY MERIT, AND MY WILL, AND TO CAST MYSELF COMPLETELY UPON CHRIST ALONE FOR SALVATION.

If my salvation depends upon my choosing Christ, it is most shaky, because I may decide to walk away from Christ and go my own way. But, if it depends upon Christ’s choice of me, wretched in my sin, with absolutely no merit of my own, then it is as certain as the promise of God who cannot lie. Scripture is abundantly clear, you can do nothing to save yourself from God’s rightful judgment. Only Christ can save, and He has promised to save all who trust in Him. If you say, “But I cannot even trust in Him,” you are right! Call out to Him for mercy and faith, with the man who said to Jesus, “I do believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). Or again, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” (Luke 18:13).

  1. THE DOCTRINE OF TOTAL DEPRAVITY HUMBLES MY PRIDE.

Ever since Eve thought that she could be like God, the human race has been infected with pride. Even many who profess Christ dislike this doctrine, because it removes every ground for boasting. Luther said it well (Bondage of the Will, p. 100, 101),

God has surely promised His grace to the humbled: that is, to those who mourn over and despair of themselves. But a man cannot be thoroughly humbled till he realizes that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, counsels, efforts, will and works, and depends absolutely on the will, counsel, pleasure and work of Another–God alone. As long as he is persuaded that he can make even the smallest contribution to his salvation, he remains self-confident and does not utterly despair of himself, and so is not humbled before God; but plans out for himself (or at least hopes and longs for) a position, an occasion, a work, which shall bring him final salvation. But he who is out of doubt that his destiny depends entirely on the will of God despairs entirely of himself, chooses nothing for himself, but waits for God to work in him; and such a man is very near to grace for his salvation.

So these truths are published for the sake of the elect, that they may be humbled and brought down to nothing, and so saved. The rest of men resist this humiliation; indeed, they condemn the teaching of self-despair; they want a little something left that they can do for themselves. Secretly they continue proud, and enemies of the grace of God.

  1. THE DOCTRINE OF TOTAL DEPRAVITY CAUSES ME TO FEAR TRUSTING IN MYSELF.

As I grow to know my own heart, and the sin that still indwells me, I realize that if I am to know victory over sin, I must not trust in myself at all, but only in the Savior who said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). The Apostle Paul warned, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). He affirmed from his own experience, “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10), because when he was aware of his own weakness, he relied totally upon God’s grace and power, not at all on himself.

  1. THE DOCTRINE OF TOTAL DEPRAVITY MOVES ME TO GREATER LOVE AND DEVOTION TO GOD FOR HIS AMAZING GRACE.

One of the problems of the weak gospel being preached today, the gospel that does not wound and totally disable the proud sinner from thinking that he has anything he can bring to God, is that those who profess faith in Christ have no idea of the awful pit from which He rescued them, and of that fact that He did it in spite of their sin, not because they were “worthy.” The truth is, even the best of us were worthy a million times over of spending eternity in the lake of fire! Forgiven little, such “Christians” love little!

The Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, said, “Too many think lightly of sin, and therefore think lightly of the Saviour. He who has stood before his God, convicted and condemned, with the rope about his neck, is the man to weep for joy when he is pardoned, to hate the evil which has been forgiven him, and to live to the honour of the Redeemer by whose blood he has been cleansed.” (C. H. Spurgeon Autobiography [Banner of Truth], 1:54). When we see the utter depravity of our sinful hearts, and then realize the abundant grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior, we will be caught up in wonder, love, and praise to Him for His glorious, sovereign grace! I pray that God will impress on each of us the biblical doctrine of total depravity.

Thanks for wading through this long devotional post.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Lydia, she fell and broke her hip, she’s 88

Pray for Robert C, 32, and told he has prostate cancer (and yes that is the correct spelling).

Praise from Jorge, he just finished his 100th bible correspondence class, that’s every single class, Congrats.

MY DEAR SON

November 24, 2017

My Dear Son;

I’m not sure how to write this letter or to talk about the burden in my heart in such a way that you are encouraged to repent because of your relation to Christ and not based on your relation to me. In that I have failed to be the godly role model that should have guided you to a deeper walk with Christ.

You are correct in that when I took a hiatus from the church pulpit and left the ministry for a while I became very carnal and course in my speech and habits. I know that for both of us leaving a very strict Pentecostal culture, we were in uncharted territory in both of our lives.

And I’m so sorry that it took me as long as it did to get back to that well spring of holiness and sanctification that God was renewing in my life. And that my waywardness has affected you more deeply than I feared. It is my most fervent wish that you would renew your walk in leading a life pleasing to Christ in every area of your life. That specifically your choice of entertainment was filtered by asking yourself if this would be pleasing to the Lord.

You are the best son a father could have, you are like me in so many areas that is why I am warning you not to repeat the same mistakes I’ve made in my life. I am so proud of you and wish only the best for you. But please consider a godlier walk in every area of your life and not use me as an excuse to be vulgar.

It may not be a great failing, but it is a failing none the less and the sorrow I feel that my example would be the root of this is so painful to my heart. Especially now in the midst of this great trial I’ve been enduring for so long, and my renewed closeness to God and the deep restoration of a truly faithful walk with Him, I feel the blame more keenly as I’ve grown close again to God.

I love you so much and you are a great son but please take this to heart.

DAD.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

THE RIGHT WAY

November 21, 2017

THE RIGHT WAY

Maybe one of the most misquoted verses in the bible and certainly one of the most misunderstood verses.

Matthew chapter 7:1-2; “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

And of course people don’t usually quote the next several verses.

Matthew 7:3-8 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

So let’s cover verses one and two;

7:1 This verse does not disallow the right of making moral and spiritual judgments (cf. 7:6; 1 Cor. 2:15; 5:9; 2 Cor. 11:4; Phil. 3:2; 1 John 4:1) but forbids a bitter, hostile, and unkind spirit which delights in finding fault with others. Hypocritical self-righteousness has no place in the life of a Christian. The verse is particularly applicable to the area of motives. No one of us can know the heart of another, and thus to draw conclusions as to the “why” of people’s actions, especially when those actions are indifferent or even good, is to invite God’s judgment upon one’s life.

And now verse 6; This verse does not mean that the blessings of the gospel are not to be offered to the Gentiles, but rather that spiritual mysteries should not be pressed upon those who are either unready or unwilling to accept or appreciate their value. The verse continues logically in the train of thought developed in the sayings which immediately precede it. While judging others is not the prerogative of man, there are, nonetheless, those whose uncleanness and violence prevent the sharing of the sweetest and most noble insights of the Christian faith.

So we are to judge ourselves, if we judge others we are to use the same measure applied to ourselves and finally there are people not ready to receive or perceive the Gospel message. We are not to force it on them or even share it with them as it will actually cause harm.

Therefore our witnessing has to be done in love and in God’s timing. Which if you are in harmony and sync with God (walking in the Spirit) living in the vine, you can count on being led of the Lord.

Bottom line, don’t be harsh, cruel, mocking, or a hypocrite. But be loving, kind, long suffering.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Lisa, she is getting divorced and will be a single mom with a 3 year old. She has to sell her home and is a pediatric ER nurse (stressed). Please keep her in prayer.

Pray for our nation, that revival will once again sweep our country.