Archive for the ‘holiness’ Category

A child was brought to the orthodontist with a protruding tooth

August 12, 2011

A child was brought to the orthodontist with a protruding tooth. But the orthodontist told the mother that the protrudng tooth was in the correct position. It was all the others that were in the wrong position.

The believer is pressured to conform since he can’t be right all alone or in a minority. But it isn’t about numbers. Truth and right and determined by an objective standard as surely as the orthodontist used an objective standard to determine that most of the child’s teeth were in the wrong place.

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Love is but its outgoing; sin is but its defiance; grace is but its action on sin; the Cross is but its victory; faith is but its worship

January 26, 2010

Holiness cannot be separated from love. “Love” says P.T. Forsyth, “is but its (holiness’) outgoing; sin is but its defiance; grace is but its action on sin; the Cross is but its victory; faith is but its worship.”

David F. Wells, The Courage to be Protestant, IVP, 2008, p.241

People will never set their faces decidedly towards heaven and live like pilgrims until they really feel that they are in danger of hell

October 21, 2009

Now I believe the likeliest way to cure and mend…defective… religion is to bring forward more prominently the old scriptural truth about the sinfulness of sin. People will never set their faces decidedly towards heaven and live like pilgrims until they really feel that they are in danger of hell. Let us all try to revive the old teaching about sin in nurseries, in schools, in training colleges, in universities. Let us not forget that “the law is good if we use it lawfully” and that “by the law is the knowledge of sin” (1 Tim. 1:8; Rom. 3:20; 7:7). Let us bring the law to the front and press it on men’s attention. Let us expound and beat out the Ten Commandments and show the length and breadth and depth and height of their requirements. This is the way of our Lord in the sermon on the mount. We cannot do better than follow His plan. We may depend upon it, men will never come to Jesus and stay with Jesus and live for Jesus unless they really know why they are to come and what is their need. Those whom the Spirit draws to Jesus are those whom the Spirit has convinced of sin. Without thorough conviction of sin, men may seem to come to Jesus and follow Him for a season; but they will soon fall away and return to the world.

J.C.Ryle, Holiness, ch.1, ‘Sin’

Holiness of the True Gospel

December 12, 2008

“Whatever religion or doctrine condones or makes allowances for sin is not of Christ. The Doctrine of Christ everywhere teaches self-denial and mortification of worldliness and sin. The whole stream of the gospel runs against those things. Scripture emphasizes the ‘holy’ and the ‘heavenly’ (not the sinful and the worldly). The true gospel has not even the slightest tendency to extol corrupt nature, or feed its pride by magnifying it’s freedom and power. And it rejects everything that undermines or obscures the merit of Christ, or tries to give any credit to man, in any way. … And it certainly never makes the death of Christ a cloak to cover sin, but rather it always speaks of it as an instrument that destroys it!” John Flavel (On Religion ?)

The sinfulness of sin

November 13, 2008

Oh the work that sin has done in the world! This is the enemy that has brought in death; that has robbed and enslaved man, that has turned the world upside down, and sown the dissensions between man and the creatures, between man and man, yes, between man and himself, setting the animal part against the rational, the will against the judgment, lust against conscience; yes, worst of all, between God and man, making the sinner both hateful to God and the hater of God. O man, how can you make so light of sin?

Sin is the traitor that thirsted for the blood of the Son of God, that sold Him, that mocked Him, that scourged Him, that spat in His face, that tore His hands, that pierced His side, that pressed His soul, that mangled His body, that never left Him until he had bound Him, condemned Him, nailed Him, crucified Him, and put Him to an open shame! Sin is that deadly poison, so powerful of operation that one drop of it, shed on the root of mankind, has corrupted, spoiled, poisoned, and ruined the whole race. Sin is the bloody executioner that has killed the prophets, burned the martyrs, murdered all the apostles, all the patriarchs, all the kings and potentates. Sin has destroyed cities, swallowed empires, and devoured whole nations. Whatever weapon it was done by, it was sin that caused the execution. Do you yet think sin only a small thing?

If Adam and all his children could be dug out of their graves, and their bodies piled up to heaven, and an inquiry were made as to what heinous murderer were guilty of all this blood, it would be all found in sin!

Study the nature of sin, until your heart incline to fear and loathe it; and meditate on the aggravations of your particular sins, how you have sinned against all God’s warnings, against your own prayers, against mercies, against corrections, against clearest light, against freest love, against your own resolutions, against promises, vows, and covenants of better obedience. Charge your heart with these things until it blush for shame, and be brought out of all good opinion of itself.

Alarm to the Unconverted

Joseph Alleine, 1671

The Battle Against Sin

November 5, 2008

The sound convert is heartily engaged against sin. He struggles with it, he wars against it; he is too often foiled—but he will never yield the cause, nor lay down the weapons, while he has breath in his body. He will make no peace; he will give no quarter. He can forgive his other enemies, he can pity them and pray for them; but here he is implacable, here he is set upon their extermination. He hunts as it were for the precious life; his eye shall not pity, his hand shall not spare, though it be a right hand or a right eye. Be it a gainful sin, most delightful to his nature or the support of his esteem with worldly friends—yet he will rather throw his gain down into the gutter, see his credit fail, or the flower of his pleasure wither in his hand—than he will allow himself in any known way of sin. He will grant no indulgence, he will give no toleration. He draws upon sin wherever he meets it, and frowns upon it with this unwelcome salute, ‘Have I found you, O my enemy!’

Joseph Alleine, Alarm to the Unconverted, 1671

Counter Cultural Church

October 28, 2008

‘Our Christianity has the appearance of being an adjunct or an appendix to the rest of our lives instead of being the main theme and the moving force in our existence. . . . We seem to have a real horror of being different. Hence all our attempts and endeavours to popularise the church and make it appeal to people. We seem to be trying to tell people that their joining a church will not make them so very different after all.’

The man who comes to church or chapel because he likes the minister as a man is of no value at all, and the minister who attempts to get men there by means of that subterfuge is for the time being guilty of lowering the standard of the truth which he claims to believe. For this gospel is the gospel of salvation propounded by the Son of God himself. We must not hawk it about the world, or offer special inducements and attractions, as if we were shopkeepers announcing an exceptional bargain sale.

“The world expects the Christian to be different and looks to him for something different, and therein it often shows an insight into life that regular church-goers often lack. The churches organise whistdrives, fetes, dramas, bazaars and things of that sort, so as to attract people. We are becoming almost as wily as the devil himself, but we are really very bad at it; all our attempts are hopeless failures and the world laughs at us. Now, when the world persecutes the church, she is performing her real mission, but when the world laughs at her she has lost her soul. And the world today is laughing at the church, laughing at her attempts to be nice and to make people feel at home. My friends, if you feel at home in any church without believing in Christ as your personal Saviour, then that church is no church at all, but a place of entertainment or a social club. For the truth of Christianity and the preaching of the gospel should make a church intolerable and uncomfortable to all except those who believe, and even they should go away feeling chastened and humbled.” (Quoted in ‘Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones – The First Forty Years 1899-1939’ by Iain H. Murray, pp.141-142 )

Human Depravity and Holiness

October 1, 2008

Contrasts the words of Gandhi with Al Capone!
For it is an unbroken torture to me that I am still so far from Him, who, as I fully know, governs every breath of my life, and whose offspring I am. I know that it is the evil passions within that keep me so far from Him, and yet I cannot get away from them.

M. K. GANDHI, The Ashram, Sabarmati , 26th November, 1925

Al Capone said, “I have spent the best years of my life giving people the lighter pleasures, helping them have a good time, and all I get is abuse, the existence of a hunted man.” Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1936), p. 20.

C.S. Lewis captured this contrast with these words: “When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less….Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.” Clive Staples Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan, 1960), p. 73.