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Cut My Tongue Out

Scriptural Authority

Scripture certainly has many references about the reality of false teachers and those who harm the church with lies and errors but lately it has become fashionable to be the defender of error leaving many Christians proclaiming “the not truth” rather than the truth. While error is certainly something that should always be discerned and corrected, there are clear biblical guidelines on what this looks like. Primarily, there is a GRAVE difference between the “evil” false teachers of Paul’s day and the ignorant, confused, or “still learning” Christians among the church. Scripture reveals that the false teachers are actually false converts who pervert the Gospel and blaspheme God while causing undue harm to the body of Christ and to the name of God. MOST others fall into the category where I have lived most of my life: incorrect understanding of doctrine.

The cause of this ignorance and error is vast but for the most part as a culture Christians no longer study the bible but rather read articles, watch videos, make assertions, and become ditto heads. I can say this because it was the majority of my early ministry days and by the Lord’s grace, He has spared me the grave and gross stupidity I once had because He opened my eyes to the authority of Scripture and has caused me to be careful as one who will give an account for EVERY word I speak on His behalf. It should be noted that of ALL the instruction given the church in the New Testament, most of the damage done, most of the rebuke, most of the correction given deals with the false “living” of professing Christians who neglect the power of the gospel of Grace by their continued sin and it is this that causes some of the greatest harm to the church. The damaging affairs are compounded when Christians begin to embark on a crusade of self-righteous expression and forsake the commands of Christ to make disciples by teaching them all Jesus has taught instead of the antithesis.  (Caveat: I am not saying that there is no room for calling out heresy, false teacher and the like, but it cannot be the mantra of one’s ministry and be biblical)

Back to the point that Christians among the church are brothers and sisters who have been purchased by Christ and all belong to the other in responsibility and affection. So, as family we are to be invested in the needs of others and often times those needs are to grow in our understanding of Grace, Doctrine and Scripture. So, as we live together for God’s glory when we see error we are to be patient, correct gently, give answers with respect as teachers and friends who care and not as task masters who “know better” and Lord over others with our superiority. After all, if it were not for God the Holy Spirit giving us wisdom we would be – and have been – just like them.

Sadly, much more damage is done to truth by those who act wickedly and have no real evidence of love for others. Patience is always called a virtue but in reality it is a revelation of the fruit of God in one’s life, so in matters like this it gives us the opportunity by God to invest in each other and show others the truth as we have seen it through the scripture. We are to have a unity of faith in Christ and have a unified understanding of all things related but because everyone is not immediately gifted with divine knowledge and wisdom we have to bear with each other as we all grow as others have to bear with us. Scripture teaches that we who are spiritual are to correct others in sin, lead others in service, out do others in love, overwhelm others in faith and generosity and express a concern that is explicitly supernatural in nature.

So, the next time I hear you all blabbing about something incorrectly I won’t cut out your tongues but rather take up the charge to walk as your brother with you and begin to guide you to the truth. In turn, please don’t cut mine out either… I just got it reattached… and sadly, they were wrong. :) However, when I or others come bold against the truth… well, we have to rebuke it sharply and remove it from among us if repentance isn’t found and the truth isn’t sound. Seems like I have said these things before…

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. (Titus 3:1-11)

For His Glory by His Grace,

Pastor James


God’s Glory IS the Point

pencil point

The struggle against the glory of God is as old as Adam. Well, it’s actually older. Lucifer had his eye on the beauty of God’s glory eternities prior to the creation and once man was made, he did his best to jump into the “see the glory” and “make it yours” game. While most all professing believers agree that God is most serious about His own glory, few actually understand what it means and how to define God’s glory in the first place. Taking on such a task would not suffice on an article post and the “point” here is to respond to a public “idea” that pits God’s glory against what is stated as “the gospel.”

The Old Testament is replete with example after example of God being most concerned with His glory and this textual expression is upheld by the New Testament. For example, Psalm 19:1 says that all the heavens declare the glory of God and Romans 1:20 advises that His invisible attributes are seen through creation, specifically His eternal POWER and DIVINE nature. Many more opportunities in the New Testament lecture the reader toward understanding that God’s glory is HIS visible power, nature, mind, actions, etc. In other words, God’s glory is GOD alone, it is the expression of Himself in all manners and means both generally and specifically.

The fall of man is measured against the “glory” of God. Therefore, it is a just condemnation when God’s glory is at stake. Man is compared to God and in doing so, God’s glory is revealed to be HIGH above the place of man. In Genesis, God said that it was GOOD to create man, as we began we saw that God says all that He has made is a display of His glory and now, the created man no longer displays such glory but falls far from it. (Romans 3:23) So, God’s glory is seen in creation and defamed in sin. Several places in the prophets we can see God acting for the sake of HIS NAME alone. His name, being coupled intrinsically with His being and essence reflect the whole sum of Himself in some respects, thus His glory.

The Glory of God is used often to describe the attributes and actions of God and seems to be the “END” purpose of all His being and doing. Paul says several times in the inclusive argument of Ephesians that the purpose of redemption was for God’s grace to be praised (His work, Himself) and this grace is described using the word “glorious”. Maybe God cares about His name and glory… maybe this is actually what scripture teaches.  Some would argue that the glory of God is just a simple attribute of His power or something else and is just a particle of the whole. This stands in arrogance as well as extreme ignorance of the nature of God in the first place. (We will cover this in later discussions)  So to the end of understanding a few things, God’s glory is the beginning and the end, for HE is the self sufficient, all powerful God who needs nothing, lacks nothing, exults in Himself, and is far above all things. In a real sense, to look at anything else but God and the fullness of His glory is just a boring journey of garbage and to apply any created purpose or person even at “equal” standing with the Glory of God is Satanic. (Just look at the words of Satan at his demise and his temptation of the first family and the Christ)

God’s glory should be seen as the point of LIFE and MISSIONS and EVANGELISM and PURPOSE.  We can prove it in any text at any time and we would do well to write such things. But let’s start and end with this: John 1 says that the GLORY OF GOD IS SEEN IN THE FULLNESS OF JESUS CHRIST. Please refrain from argument here, so many times I look forward to the day where ALL MOUTHS WILL BE SHUT, but I am thankful that God is gracious enough to enable us to know Him.  Salvation is KNOWING GOD (John 17:3, John 6:40) and the Son which is believing.  So, salvation comes only through SEEING the glory of God and KNOWING God through His revealed Glory. This is God’s work and it is FULLY effectual FOR HIS GLORY!

When it comes to the exercise of the so-called church as of late and so-called evangelism and missions much is waining in regards to the authority of God over the message and methods. Such is true when anyone argues that the point of missions is the “gospel” over the “glory of God” when the GLORY of God is the Gospel. Sadly, only the saints of Christ can see and understand this. Only those who behold the fullness of God’s glory in Jesus Christ can savor the majesty of God as their soul-satisfying portion. The Gospel is such because of God’s glory because it is God’s glory.  “GOSPEL” is a newly created word taken historically from “God speaks” revealed in the New Testament as the “The Good News.”

So, the “Good News” of Jesus Christ is the message of salvation which is a reflection of God’s good nature, love, mercy and grace. The Gospel is not a story, it is not a response, it is not a plan of salvation, it is the WORK OF GOD unto salvation by HIS POWER. The problem is that so many professional churchmen and executives with the title of Pastor do not like the humility required to behold and labor in the gospel of God’s glory. They prefer to be ashamed and thus have created a new gospel, which is damnation, not delight.  The Gospel of God is the absolute reality that God became man, born of a virgin who He created into a world that He created in order to perfectly save a people that He created who rebelled against Him and cared not to see His glory but gloried in what they could touch and see. (Rom 1)  The gospel is that this God-man lived a divinely holy and righteous life as a full human being and then willfully and gloriously suffered the cross and death to receive the penalty of sin and was raised to life. Faith in this work of God, this man of God, this God-man is the only way to salvation. Salvation only comes by the PREACHING of the words of Christ (Rom 10:17) who declared that IF YOU HAVE SEEN the Son, you have seen the Father and the Father made this GLORY manifest for salvation. (1 John 1)

The points:

  • The church exists to display the glory of God because she IS because of His working power.
  • Missions exist to reach out with the glory of God seen only in Jesus Christ
  • Worship is done by those who are saved to the “praise of His glorious Grace.”
  • All who believe reflect the GLORY of God and this pleases Him to see HIS work and POWER before Him.
  • Attempts to marginalize “evangelism” toward the purpose of methods and messages are missing the point.
  • Don’t take my word for any of this, read the scripture, be a Berean, know truth, not “tradition”.
  • The GOSPEL is ALL ABOUT GOD, not our response, not our message, but God alone sending Jesus the Son alone to save His sheep alone. Let’s stop missing the point.

For His Glory By His Grace,

Pastor James


For more reading, try here: (we do not necessarily endorse all views on links or resources but provide them for extra study and consideration – even opposing views. We desire that our readers would engage in scripture and be learned by God and among the local congregation instead of just regurgitating learned principles)



Skipping Church | A Thought

Imagine showing up for church in the morning and the pastor just not being there. What would happen? What would people say? Now imagine if he did that anytime he wanted and gave no real reason except that he just couldn’t come, or that he was tired, or that something came up and he needed to go out of town. I wonder how long this could take place in the life of the local church before congregants would begin to become upset, angry, frustrated, or even a little perturbed. Well consider this, the qualifications and requirements for the pastor are just a listing of true qualifications of every believer among the church of Jesus Christ. Paul just listed them in the New Testament so that those who are called to the pastorate understand what is required of every Christian. Sadly, many churches (s0-called) would bring a pastor under discipline if he did something like this even once.

Interestingly enough, Hebrews chapter 10 teaches that one of the primary litmus tests of Christian faith and dedication is gathering together with the Saints of Jesus Christ. I’m going to write a little bit more in the weeks to come on this topic, for the sake of encouraging Christians to understand that they are not to attend the gathering of the saints, that we call church service, under compulsion; but are to be there out of the absolute desire of the core of their soul. After all, did Jesus not raise our lives with him? When a Christian fails to attend the local assembly  the entire body suffers, the Christian who is not in attendance find themselves waning in their faith, becoming more fleshly, lacking the faith and the grace of God to face life. Those who regularly skip out on congregating with the people of God ultimately fall prey to fleshly lusts and entertainment in the name of need and entitlement.

Now back to the idea of what would take place in the hearts and minds of the local church if I, the pastor of the flock, worked and operated as many who claim to be in Christ do every single week. I mean why could not I have a day of rest with my family vacationing because of my fatigue and pain and life’s frailties. After all should not my personal needs come before the church of Jesus Christ? Should I not model for my children that it is okay to  have no concern for the people of God? Isn’t it okay for my neighbor to see me barbecuing on the Lord’s day in an attempt to show them that Christians are not bound to some legalistic ideal? Doesn’t the Lord want me to sleep in after I’ve been up nearly all night due to an illness, or just insomnia? Don’t I just deserve a day? Of all people, Christians understand such things and should be willing to just let them go without any consequence, without any questions, without any frustrations on their part. Aren’t there many men in the church who can just stand up and preach? Aren’t there those amongst the body who labor every day all week for the sake of the joy of the Saints? Even in a pinch, can’t someone just stand up and read the Bible for an hour?

Of course this is written to prove a point. First, that any pastor who would have such a heart should resign from the ministry and never speak of it again. And if this is true for a pastor, it should be true for you. Second, when the Saints do not desire to assemble together, it is a clear indicator that something desperately is missing from their understanding of the regenerative power of the Holy Spirit. They are not comprehending with the Saints the depth and the breadth and the height and the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, nor how his grace is sufficient to sustain us and bring us together for mutual benefit and mutual strength and service. Third, Christians who regularly just skip out on meeting with the children of God can lose their joy, can lose their spiritual eyes, and are just a hair away  from a seared conscience. This is why Scripture teaches that failing to meet together is the first ring in the ladder of apostasy and that anyone who considers themselves not important to the body at large, has become so nearsighted and myopic and selfish that they bring discipline from the body on themselves by the command of God. Failing to heed these warnings by one who professes to walk in the light, leaves no more sacrifice for their sin and nothing left but judgment.

So, our hearts should leap with joy, our faith should rise above our fatigue, and our purpose in life should be that we work all week so that all that we do and all that we gain and all that we have be given away for the sake of our siblings who have been purchased by the blood of our Savior, Jesus the Christ. While there are certainly opportunities to remain isolated from the gathering of the saints, they are extreme and are not normative and one’s own heart should be checked each time this temptation arises. Beloved you are more than just a seat-filler, you are a necessary and loved part of the body of Jesus Christ and your absence is more detrimental to you and to the church than if the pastor just failed to show up.

For His Glory by His Grace,

Pastor James

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:19-25 ESV)


Theology of Worthless | Digital Age of Idolatry Part 1

Just a short search reveals that there are a plethora of articles written about the pros and cons of social media. And there’s no lack of commentators on the concept that social media and mobile living have negative consequences. The purpose of this writing is not to revisit these issues nor is it to actually add to the conversation, but to look at the use of social media, text messages, and non-personal communication as un-biblical and most applications.  What I mean by that is this, that the word of God regulates all that we do as Christians, and because of this the word of God must regulate our use, our language, and our communication when using technology. Without such thinking the Christian community finds itself much like the world when it comes to the use of Facebook or twitter and even the use of text messaging. As a pastor of the local church, I’m finding more and more conflict and sin arising from the fleshly assumptions that are inferred from the non-communicative use of these platforms. After all, if we are to do all things for the glory of God into the honor of his name, and we are to at all times be considering how we are to spur one another on toward  love and good deeds, then we must be very critical and discerning on how we speak, what we share, and how we look to the outside world and to each other when laying our words into public view. The church of Jesus Christ is the light of the world, that means that we reflect his nature, his heart, his words, and the fullness of the glory of God in reflection as his body. Therefore to say and do something that is contrary to the heart and nature of Jesus Christ our Lord, who is the God who created all things and to his holy and above all, is to bring shame and reproach upon the name of Jesus. There is much I would like to say, but I feel it vital to stick to the matter of most importance.

Anonymity in Consequences reveal the Truth of the Heart (Matt 15:18)

In reality, the heart of man is revealed in his words above many things. Those words are a product of his true nature, and if the words on social platforms are not reflective of Christ, then they are devoid of Christ. This goes from the type of things we “like”, “share” or discuss and most importantly, it moves into our conversations and engagements. If our interaction with people is small bits of online trivia or even spiritual memes or bible verses then who are we really talking to? The ‘one’ or the whole? And when we speak on the web, why is it that we are able to say things in such a manner that seems to provide no shame or restraint? This happens because there is really no consequences for our words online. No frowns, no harsh looks, and no real empathy of having to see someone else who is hurt by what we say and how we say it. Now there is a point where sometimes people just read wrongly what we mean but even in that, we ought to consider the fact that we may cause someone else to stumble due to our “freedom” of expression.  It is better to remain quiet and “seem” wise than to speak and be shown an idiot. (Proverbs 17:28… look it up.) So, I believe that the church ought to employ policies that incorporate social platforms and text messages because it is our words and it is our hearts. So, if I offend you in person or online, it is a matter of gospel proportions to which the word of God commands reconciliation. Imagine being brought under public discipline in the church because of your facebook page. Remember out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks – or types.

Mission of Social Voice conflicts with Message of the Savior (Mark 16:15)

While it is true that Christian should be concerned with issues related to justice, social problems, economics etc.; we should relate to these things as they are presented in scripture: temporal and certain. And at times we should cry out when injustice prevails and wickedness reigns so that we are lights pointing to and shining out of darkness. We are not to be so dominated by these matters that our light just becomes darkness. We are not to mis-engage the culture with culture but we are to confront the culture with the gospel. There is NO HOPE in government but there is MUCH HOPE in Jesus Christ. So, when we spend all of our waking hours promoting our views, our desires, our opinions or even our platforms we have missed the boat and left the gospel out. There is not to even be balance on these matters because we should be known for the gospel so that when we speak of other things, it shocks people into listening. “Wow, he said something about _______, all he ever talks about is Christ, we better see what has taken his time from Jesus and pay attention.”  Just a thought…

Communication is Thought Flowing not Sound Bites (Col 4:6)

When we communicate, there are many ways to do so and much of communication is non-verbal. So when words are heard the hearer must judge what is being said in the context of SYNTAX and COUNTENANCE.  So, a small bite of information on a page, phone or computer is not communication worth considering. Who can explain a theological position in 140 characters? Who can expose all the points of view on an issue with a “share” or “like”? What text message is not going to be read from the emotional state of the recipient? See the point? We are called to communicate truth and engage the world with truth while we engage each other with truth. When our life consists of continued sound bites, that’s all we are; a pundit talking head with no meaning. So, when using sound bite technology, it must ALWAYS point people to a real relationship that is going to suffer and grow as it matures.

Judgment is Made from a Part instead of Knowing the Fullness in Wisdom (Prov 1:5 & Jas 3:13)

Recently I responded publicly to a private request to review some material on a very controversial subject. I did so because I typed the word “done” in the comment section instead of the reply section to the private post. In doing so I was bombarded by people from all across the nation accusing me of things that they “assumed” the word “done” meant. Then they began to pass judgment on my character, my faith and my purpose. While I first took these things personally, I realized how quickly such things can devour the church, so I have decided to do no more comments other than personal engagement in a public way. (Like, “Great job son….”) While there may be exceptions, for the most part when we speak personally online or via text, it is misunderstood because there is no context. We need to stop this stupidity and learn to talk on the phone so we can explain ourselves as the LORD commands us to. Oh yeah, it does BEHOOVE each of us in Christ to answer biblical rebuke to our character. Anyone who thinks otherwise should be warned. The Bible is in authority over us. (that’s a period)

Breeding of Trivial and Temporal Mindsets oppose Making Disciples of all Nations (Matt 28:19-20)

I guess breeding may be a poor choice of words but it’s how I view it. One places text for view and then another reads it and at the end of the day we know our personality type, our favorite food, have seen three people set themselves on fire and read 100 memes about how God is so good. So what? It’s silly and worthless and has no eternal value at all making it a huge waste of time. It would be different if it wasn’t a continual factory of nonsense, but it’s constant. Let’s be intentional in our disciple making. Leave a legacy not a laughing stock.

Pride of Opinion defuncts Precious Gospel-Powered Affection (1 Cor 13:7)

This one speaks for itself. The ultimate sin of such things is that we lose sight of Christ and our love for each other because the wickedness of our world consumes us and for some strange reason we feel that it is worth divorce.

Idolatry of gods vs the Incredible God of Truth (1 John 5:21)

Time is spent somewhere… and boy it surprises me sometimes when I log onto the web in the evenings to see people who have shared everything under the sun starting at 9PM and continuing until 2AM. Where would these people be if they prayed that much? Where would the nation and the church be if the people of God spent more time praying than spraying silliness across the “interwebs”? Let us repent of such idolatry. If it isn’t time then maybe it is ZEAL. That’s right… I see people walking around with their phones never to have a moment without it open. I learned years ago that I hated technology in my face when I don’t want it there. So, I leave my phone at home or else I would be subject to the same aggravation. It’s time that Christians get out of touch because honestly, we are not in touch in ANY good way. And even if we are, the side views and other things that catch our eye to see the good far outweigh the worth of the good. Maybe it’s time we just go back to connecting with no public profiles at all, no smart phones and no wasted lives.  We must put Christ at the center of our lives if He is indeed our Savior. If He cannot be the center, then He isn’t the center and our profession of faith is a lie and we do not practice the truth. So, utilize social media as if Christ is seeing it, because He is, because He is the Lord of Facebook, Twitter, Texts, Youtube and all!

There is a place for things. I just don’t think it is what it should be for holy people. I will be posting my own journey on this road and the steps I am taking to secure not just my witness but intimacy with my family and friends for the sake of growing in grace instead of growing without a face.

Seriously Engaged by the Grace of God for your Good.

Pastor James


No Matter the Argument, the Gospel should Win

As I finalize the final pages of my recent publication, I have decided to make an addendum inclusive of three final chapters. These will refer to recent (3 years) ongoings and attacks against me and others related to our congregation and teaching ministry for no real reason at all. The matter, while the theology is vital, really hurts me because the manner in which so many respond, attack or accuse their “brothers in Christ” is unbiblical and downright wicked. I forwarded a recent article to several brothers this week and below I have pasted a very good response to the matter . More will follow.

A Response to Dr. Michael A Cox’s Article: Is Calvinism Spiritual Racism? by Dr. Edward Dalcour, Ph.D.

I just read an article on the SBC Today site entitled: Is Calvinism Spiritual Racism?—by Dr. Michael A Cox—Pastor, FBC Pryor, OK (http://sbctoday.com/is-calvinism-spiritual-racism). Dr. Cox, as with others in the SBC, is now participating in the newest wrinkle of the SBC against Calvinism. Like the many others who have attempted to promote a patently synergistic soteriology, Cox takes it to an unusual level of mischaracterization and irresponsible scholarship.

First, it is not my intention here to provide a point by point exegetically refutation the passages that Dr. Cox misapplies (esp. John 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:4; and 2 Pet. 3:9). This has been countless times by myself and by many others. My intention is to provide some clarity and accuracy pertaining to Calvinism in light of Dr. Cox’s inaccurate depiction and maltreatment of it. And hopefully cause folks that read his article to invest in a more scholarly examination of it from qualified sources.

In the beginning of his article, Dr. Cox’s likens Calvinism with Hinduism when he states at the outset: “I will contend that Hinduism, Racism, and Calvinism have many things in common.” This kind of argument is, of course, logically invalid, as is the argument “all Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Arminianism has many things in common such as conditional election; salvation being left in the hands of the unregenerate; faith and some kind of work(s) being required for salvation (regeneration); God cannot overpower man’s untouchable ‘free-will’ in salvation; etc.”

However, there is a rudimentary defect that is quite apparent throughout the content of his article. Dr. Cox’s assertions are grounded on mistaken views of what Calvinism (that is, the “doctrines of grace”) actually teaches. For example, Dr. Cox uses terms such as “spiritual determinism,” “spiritual caste,” “spiritual bigotry,” “spiritual prejudice,” etc. in his portrayal of Calvinism demonstrating his vast misunderstanding of it. This causes me to wonder if Dr. Cox has read even the most basic works on Calvinism and/or read any of standard Calvinistic/Reformed confessions.

Next Dr. Cox asserts: “It would be interesting to know how many non-Caucasians actually embrace five-point Calvinism as a genuine Bible doctrine.” Really? So here Dr. Cox uses an ad populum argument (fallacy) to validate biblical truth. Did Cox do any research at all on this? Is he aware of the Dutch Reformed movement in Africa, which is one of the largest movements in Africa? The Dutch Reform are a part of the World Fellowship of Reformed Churches—, which is one of the largest “Christian” international communions in the world. Embarrassingly, Dr. Cox is not well educated on religious demography—thus, he should not make these obtuse implications about how many non-Caucasians embrace Calvinism.

Further, in his effort to show that Calvinism is spiritually racist, Dr. Cox asserts: “Calvinism is nothing short of baptized racism, advocating the dogma that one group, the non-elect, is condemned by God to spiritual inferiority and another group, the elect, is destined to spiritual superiority.” Again, statements such as these only show his lack of knowledge on Calvinism. I wonder if Dr. Cox would see Paul’s statement in Rom. 9:21 regarding the Potter (God) having the right (exousian) to make (poiew) from the same lump(all men) one person/vessel for honor (timēn) and another for no honor (atimian), “nothing short of baptized racism, advocating the dogma that one group, the non-elect, is condemned by God . . . and another group, the elect, is destined to spiritual superiority”?

Apparently, Dr. Cox just cannot accept a God that would do this. Nor can Dr. Cox accept Paul’s presentation of vessels/men of wrath that God prepared (note the perfect passive form of katartizw) for destruction. To be sure, the God that Paul speaks of is not the God that Dr. Cox imagines.

Dr. Cox represents Calvinism as “nothing short of promoting a prideful theology of supposed spiritual superiority, due to election.” However, in Acts 16:6ff., we read that the Holy Spirit stopped Paul and Timothy from preaching the gospel in Asia in which many people died without ever hearing the gospel. So would Dr. Cox also charge the Holy Spirit with having a “prideful theology” of election and “baptized racism” since it was the Holy Spirit who chose to prevent some from hearing the gospel? (as the Father does, cf. Luke 10:20-22).

But what I find most befuddling is that Dr. Cox holds a DMin. with (as his bio states) an emphasis on biblical hermeneutics. However, Dr. Cox fast-ball pitches the big three Arminian passages (viz., John 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:4; and 2 Pet. 3:9) into his article presupposing they support his views (with no hint of exegetical verification). It is evident to me that Dr. Cox does not apply the same hermeneutical (and exegetical) emphasis to these three passages that he does to passages he would use to affirm, say,  justification by faith alone or the deity of Christ. For Dr. Cox, it seems that “tradition” and his devotion to synergism dictates his so-called hermeneutical method.

Does Dr. Cox suppose that no one who reads his article, which is circulated outside the safety of his church bulletin, has (or will) meaningfully interacted with these three (and other) passages on a basic exegetical level arriving at an interpretation in opposition to his view? The fact that Dr. Cox casually tosses them into the mix in an attempt to prove his position shows that his interpretation of these three passages are really established by the removal of single passages out of its entire context and pre-assigning a universal meaning to pas (“all”) and kosmos (“world”). This, to be sure, is in no way an “emphasis on biblical hermeneutics.” Rather, it is an emphasis on tradition and high emotion—thus, not on the actual exegesis of the passages.

Next Dr. Cox says, “God has demonstrated his love for all people many times over. He did so by promising to make Abraham, a.k.a. Abram, from Ur of the Chaldeans (Gen. 11:31), a blessing to all the families of the earth (Gen. 12:1-3). It is amazing to me that Dr. Cox would make this kind of hermeneutic mistake—applying a universal meaning to the phrase in Gen. 12:3, “all the families of the earth,” when the Apostle Paul tells us what is meant here: “The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘All the nations will be blessed in you’” (Gal. 3:8). Hence according to Paul, “all the nations” (note Paul usage of ethnē, “nations/Gentiles” and not phulai [LXX] to explicate his point) refers to God’s eternal purpose in justifying (note the present indic. dikaioi, “justifies”) the Gentiles by faith (that which was foreseen in Gen. 12). In Acts 13:48, the Gentiles rejoiced at the fact that salvation was brought also to them: “When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed [note the plu-perf. part, tetagmenoi] to eternal life believed.”

Virtually every time ethnē/ethnos is used in the NT, it referred to unbelieving Gentiles/heathens, and at times, believing Gentles, and only rarely was it used to denote “people” in a general sense. Dr. Cox seems oblivious to the apostle’s own interpretation of Gen. 12:3 overlooking the exegetical points and Paul’s defining context of the entire chapter of Gal. 3. Even more, in Gal. 3:29, Paul defines as to what nations are blessed (and thus, the promise of Gen 12): “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” Thus, the ones who “belong to Christ” are the heirs according to the promise or blessing of Abraham. In the same sense, Rev. 5:9 states of the Son: “You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation [ethnos].” Does Dr. Cox realize that God loving all of His people/family and sending His Son to die for them is consistent with Calvinism?

As seen, Dr. Cox’s conclusions of Calvinism (as “spiritual racism,” etc.) are built on faulty presuppositions. I do not think Dr. Cox would charge Calvinism with “spiritual racism” likening it to Hinduism and assert many other mischaracterizations if Dr. Cox reached at least an elementary level of understanding as to what Calvinism actually affirms.

Lastly, as with so many Christians who are so antagonistic to Calvinism, Dr. Cox 1) holds to a crass and mistaken understanding of Calvinism, 2) does not engage in proper exegesis on the passages he uses to endorse conditional election and universal atonement,which is especially seen when he applies a universal meaning to various OT passages and Greek terms such as pas and kosmos when they are contextually unwarranted, and 3) seems to have a disjointed view of the love of God limiting it to a universal redemptive love for every single person, which results in a view where God keeps waiting for and wanting all men to respond to His “great” plan of redemption, but He keeps failing in His effort to save all men every time someone dies in unbelief.

As a Christian apologist (and esp. for pastors), truth and providing an accurate representation of both biblical doctrine and other religious systems (Christian or non-Christian) is first and foremost. Dr. Cox presents in his article his “personal” views of Calvinism in which, in my assessment, are very misleading and inaccurate showing his lack of scholarship and basic understanding of Calvinism. As seen, he has fallen prey to the traditional ruse and pride of the autosoteric (self-salvation) system of Arminianism in which prompted him to launch an unreasonable and very haphazard attack on Calvinism.

Because Dr. Cox’s knowledge of Calvinism is apparently vacuous, he sees it as, among other things, a “prideful theology.” However, if he would ever take the time to do a scholarly study and educate himself on what it actually teaches he would understand that Calvinism, that is, the doctrines of grace exalts and recognizes God as the sovereign God in and of all things (cf. Eph. 1:1) including the eternal destiny of all menhence, salvation is of God alone! In contrast, Arminian soteriology sees man as sovereign over his own eternal destiny—thus, it is man’s so-called righteous “ability” cooperating with God’s plan (just as Rome teaches), not God’s grace alone. Hence, the Arminian system is a man-centered system (which we call pride), it is a  “I did it” scheme in which the ultimate decision of choosing Christ is essentially placed in the hands of the unregenerate sinner (in the face of opposing biblical passages, such as John 6:44; 63; 8:43-44, 47; Rom. 8:7-8; 1 Cor. 1:30-31; etc.)

Calvinism is called the “doctrines of grace” for the simple reason that Scripture presents that by God’s grace alone, He gave to Christ those whom He chose for Himself to deliver and set them free from the bondage of sin. He chose these in love, before the foundation of the world, not on the basis of a foreknowledge response to their works, but according to the kind intention of His will. These He made alive granting them faith justifying them in which He adopted them as sons when He was not obligated to do so—but by His grace alone: “So then, He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.” And, “By His doing,” not our doing, we “are in Christ Jesus” (1 Cor. 1:3-31; cf. Rom. 8:28-30; 9:16, 21-23; Eph. 1:4-5; 2:8-10; Phil. 1:29; 2 Thess. 2:13; etc.).

– Dr. Edward Dalcour


Idol Worship or Patriotism?

Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, all the glory of God being pushed to the right…

A fitting parody most likely to be found this coming Lord’s Day. While I am not “unpatriotic” I find it less than distasteful to impute patriotism or nationalism in place of the worship of the Most High God and the hearing of His word. Sadly, many people have never considered it, but this year especially, it seems fitting to make a note that most of the world’s so-called christians are more concerned with the perpetuity of the United States than the eternal Kingdom of Christ. A patriotic service is when a congregation has a Lord’s day celebration that centers on America and is devoid the word of God or worse, uses the bible in a twisted application as if it were taking about America.

I could speak for days on this issue as a biblical error and show that scripture actually prohibits such idolatry, but for today I will give a few reasons I believe patriotic services happen in the name of “worship” and the theological consequences of it.

Each statement can be precluded with, “When worship of country happens in the place of biblical worship…”

  1. It puts a government (creation) above God (creator) in worship. Paul is careful to show that part of God’s judgment is to give people what they love as an idol over Himself thus revealing His judgement and wrath against them. (Romans 1)  There is no place for patriotism among the people of God during a time of corporate worship. It is idolatry and there is no other argument to be made. Stop putting temporal things in place of Jesus Christ and His eternal glory.
  2. It is boring beyond all measure. The difference in seeing water flow down the drain of a tub in comparison to the majesty of Yosemite or the Grand Canyon. There is no comparison and why would one want to trade the visible majesty of the most glorious Crown of the cosmos for the young and fading glory of a man-made democracy?
  3. It may lead people to thinking that God cares anything about countries. He doesn’t. God cares about people, not non-personal governments.  As a matter of biblical truth, God established governments in the same manner He established the ceremonial laws: to show something larger and to show their non-permanence in order to reveal HIS sufficiency.
  4. It will create division among the body which is satanic. Some people don’t feel the same about America. Maybe a governmental agency has hurt them or done them wrong. Maybe some people have a sense of pride that God has rid them of that will be rekindled. Maybe there are Christians who are not Americans so that it has absolutely no relevance at all to them. Period. Division among the body of Christ is evil, and making much of something not Christ is evil.
  5. It divides the eternal unity of the church by proclaiming a nation against all other nations (makes the book of Ephesians obsolete). Paul argues that ALL nations have ceased at the cross of Christ and he teaches that the wisdom of God is that HE (God) has created ONE people out of many.
  6. It fails to understand proper end-times where AMERICA has no place except where Babylon is resting; the lake of fire. See, governments of men are over in eternity. There is no purpose for them because Christ has finished the battle, there is no reason for governance, no need for punishment, no need for boundaries because all are holy.
  7. It may be a sign of a lazy shepherd who would rather do something “themed” than expositional. How easy it is to rant and rave about the problems, even moral ones, that plague the country and that the “country” must be in prayer in order to be healed by God. Well, God will never heal lands, He will heal HIS people from sin, others He will justly destroy in just anger.
  8. It may be opportunity to please man. Yep, believe it or not, many red blooded American patriots would rather don a flag than carry a cross and many pastors know this and love to get the support of the tear-stained hard nose who loves his country. I pray it isn’t you, if so, take this Sunday to resign your ministry. It would do the gospel well.
  9. It is guaranteed to get response. If your preaching the scriptures doesn’t get an AMEN, then celebrating America will. How amazing it is that people will amen what they love, except Christ, when presented with the opportunity.
  10. It brings people to worship other gods. Yep. In some sense, rights, liberties, power, etc. are other gods. I can honestly say that sometimes it seems that Christians are not willing to give up their freedom for the sake of the gospel. We should take more time to read Philippians.
  11. It belittles the mission of the church. Thankfully the church has not been set to the task of a fool and isn’t called to make morality the central theme of its mission. Biblically speaking it isn’t even in the top ten. Yes we are to affirm what is good and holy and speak out against that which is not, but in reality, there is so much blindness and wicked affection for dying things among the church that many are unable to see the log in their own eyes.
  12. It argues that MEMORIALS are important when they are supposed to REMIND of God and POINT us to Christ. As a historical scholar of the American church, I cannot find one legitimate example of such that could be used in place of Christ. Memorials are to bring glory to God, like the stones in the Jordan, it wasn’t for the Jews to celebrate their journey, but God’s doing. It was to point to Christ.  Where is patriotism pointing to Christ when all the New Testament details people losing ALL THEY HAD in following Christ.
  13. It establishes a superiority over other nations when MANY other nations are much more GOSPEL CENTERED than America. America is not greater than other nations and from a biblical worldview, this is a slap in the face of Christ.
  14. It creates barriers to the true gospel power in the life of a community by putting the emphasis on something that is temporal, endangered (by God), polarizing, and patriotism NEEDS no voice OVER CHRIST.
  15. It may wrongly make parallels that are unbiblical. For instance, some people invoke scriptural promises made to Israel and apply them to the USA. This is a grave error and more so that people forget that in all nations there are only TWO peoples: those who are the church in Christ and everyone else. Nations cannot be saved, governments cannot find salvation, only the church finds salvation, so let’s stop confusing the matter.
  16. It displaces the object of true joy with a fading one. Many people find their hope and joy in America and her future and in turn, some of them find themselves disgruntled at the pace of where things are with the government. This isn’t worship and actually is the result of idolatry. Christ is sufficient and is cause for eternal joy.
  17. It aspires glory to a “past” instead of learning to glory in Christ at the present time and forever more. Much of what is experienced in these types of services is about what America “used” to be or “should” be or really “stands for.” Well, stand for Christ and lose your life or lose eternal life.
  18. It sometimes assumes that certain political leanings are more Godly than another and supposes that different view points on matters of civil or economic issues are not “Christian” at the cost of concerning the church with what is actually taught in scripture, thus making everyone disobedient.
  19. It produces fellowship around the wrong motive and dream. And at times it produces “enemies” between brethren because of dissenting views about country and politics.
  20. It assumes that the darkness of the world is a threat to the American Way and not Eternal Life. It thwarts by action and affection, the sovereignty of God over all men.
  21. It distorts the prayers of the Saints who pray for a way of life rather than eternal life for others. This mistakenly puts the church in torment as they linger over a desire for God to “do something” and for people in government to “repent” when they do not belong to Christ in the first place.
  22. It will prove, if all some of the above take place, that those who are born again are convicted of idolatry while those that stand their ground on their “right” and “duty” to worship in this manner are proven to be NOT IN THE FAITH of Christ because they divide over worldly affections. (See 1 John 2:15-17)

So there. Now you have a taste of what a very polarizing opinion on a matter of little importance actually looks like. Sadly something like this could cause more harm than good, but I pray it will be received the way it sounds, concerned and greatly grieved over the loss of sublime interest in the church.

What should the body of Christ do in America on Independence Day?  The same thing the church in China would do or in Uganda: hear the word, pray, worship in song and prayer, celebrate Christ, engage in life together intimacy, care for the needs of each other and long for the day when they see their Savior. (among other things.) Just as all Christians are to VALUE governments (countries), they are also to PRAY for governments but never celebrate them over Christ.

As Americans we have a duty to live as citizens of HEAVEN as we traverse this temporary existence in the US. And in doing so we are to stand out from the world in which we live and VOTE as though we are not voting, engage in politics as though they are NOT VITAL and make sure our legacies are eternal in nature. We should be THANKFUL that God has used good and evil to create a very awesome nation with laws the provide us the opportunity to worship freely and EXERCISE those rights as we are able. WE are to exercise our rights in order to express our disdain against injustice, prejudice, evil, immorality and all things that are sanctioned by our government but all the while realize that these things are not ETERNAL and so we rest in peace and hope, not in this nation, but in Kingdom of Christ in which we stand, forever.

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:13-16 ESV)

What should we do if our fellowship is planning such things? Pray and stay away. I am not saying that a mention of patriotism is prohibited, I am saying that when it replaces Christ it is wicked and evil and may be evidence that the leadership of the church should strongly consider what is vital to the life of the church before God removes what little light there is to shine in darkness.

How do I know? I’ve done it myself.

Pastor James


Season of Death Reveals Life


Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations? (Proverbs 27:23-24 ESV)

I have been resting in the waiting room of a hospital for the last few hours awaiting my bride who is undergoing some tests. Two of the most common things found in a waiting room at a hospital are people who are waiting and people who are suffering. I have encountered a suffering soul this morning whose children are here along with her husband. By all appearances, she could be in her 80’s but her age isn’t what has prompted this journal, it is the wave of considerations that have flooded my soul as I witness her suffering. She has moaned in pain for the lat hour while her family has been unable to help her, give her rest or remove her pain. They have continued to be there with every groan or breath of pain assuring her that “soon they will come get you to help with your pain.” This is a sad experience knowing that there are millions in pain all over this world today of ALL age groups. But it isn’t the pain that prompts me either. Looking at this family center on their beloved I realize that all of us sitting in this large waiting area will one day experience both sides of such reality. We will be sitting as a sufferer with those in pain and we too will be the one suffering in pain.

There are many thoughts running through my heart and understand that I am no rookie when it comes to pain and suffering. This time however, I am being prompted to consider that at this point in this poor woman’s life she has not given any thought to anything but her pain. She isn’t worried about how she raised her children (who are seated next to her with smiles). She isn’t worried about her place in this community and whether or not she made a difference. She isn’t concerned with her looks, hair, shoes, or her etiquette.  She isn’t concerned with her social and spiritual spheres and whether or not her book club or Sunday School class is prepared for the week. She exists, in all likelihood, at the end of her life and this season of death will reveal what her life really meant.

Her daughter jokes with her and says to her, “It won’t be long before they take you for surgery and you’ll be able to dream without pain and you can dream about all the things we used to do.” Whether this woman lives another 10 years or returns to the Lord in the next few minutes, her life is a measure of many things, but in reality, all of our lives are only a measure of what is eternal. Otherwise, all we have accomplished will die with us. To that end, here is a brief summary of statements that reflect a deeper involvement with my own mortality.

  1. We are temporal in this Earth so all that we do, if not of the Gospel, will eventually turn to dust.
  2. Nothing we do will live in perpetuity if it is not the fruit of the gospel.
  3. Our social and political platforms and efforts will eventually die as God will destroy all crowns and nations. (No King but Christ)
  4. Our financial prizes and glory will take us to the grave and even those God gives and He can take away.
  5. Education apart from teaching others the glory of Christ will account for nothing.
  6. Satisfaction from anything that was not Christ will fade away in time.
  7. Future hope is vain if not in the cross.
  8. Our friendships outside the body of Christ are vain if they do not point to the cross.
  9. Defending anything in this life that doesn’t point to the ultimate glory of God in Christ is a fool’s errand.
  10. If we are not growing relationships with God’s people for the sake of the gospel then when we rest at the end all we will have is either a small group of mourners or a large group of hopeless secular pals.
  11. Our lives in the end should reflect a Gospel Powered fruitfulness:
    1. Joy in us and others through Christ alone.
    2. Diversity in thoughts and interests while being one mind and one Spirit.
    3. A circle of brothers and sisters from all tribes reflecting the TRUE gospel of Christ.
    4. A testimony of others that our lives mattered because we lived as aliens in a foreign land pursuing the glory of God at the cost of ALL that we were.
    5. Memories that would transcend anyone in any place in the world for the sake of the name of God almighty!

What else could be said? While these quick and fleeting thoughts are written, they too will be just a whisper one day. What are we really doing?  What are we really causing? Who are we really reaching and with what? What will we do today to transform our mind? What will we do today to repent of our idols? What will we do right now to reflect the power of Christ? Huh?  What are we still sitting here reading these words?  Be ready. Sober. Active for the sake of Christ, who is concerned with the Glory due His name. Amen.

Pastor James


Evangelical Death or Delusion?

david f. wells

Dr. David F. Wells (PhD, University of Manchester) is the Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In addition to serving as academic dean at Gordon-Conwell’s Charlotte campus, Wells has been a member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, a distinguished lecturer at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, and the recipient of a major grant from the Pew Charitable Trust. The author of numerous articles and books, he has written extensively on postmodernism, open theism, and the history of Christianity in America.  Over a decade ago he penned a small article entitled, “The Bleeding of the Evangelical Church” that broke some surface thought on at that time, a major problem among Evangelical churches in America. Some of the foundations of his concerns have yet to be seen or even addressed and I fear that today’s church is more than dead, she has become apostate. That article is copied here in its entirety from Monergism.com.  I would love to hear your thoughts as we process such things together, for the good of our hope in Christ Jesus.


The Bleeding of the Evangelical Church

by David F. Wells

Article by Dr. David Wells, from a booklet of the same name, copyrighted by The Banner of Truth Trust.

I came to America twenty-five years ago, a newly minted doctor and ready to begin a teaching ministry. Today I look back on this quarter of a century with immense gratitude for the opportunity to serve Christ during these years and for the nourishment which I have received from the Church during this time.

This quarter of a century has been a time of many bright highlights, but if I am not mistaken it is also a time of lengthening shadows in our evangelical world. We have been transformed from being an inconsequential religious player to one of some consequence during this time, but the costs are now becoming plain.

Twenty-five years ago, evangelicals were outside the religious establishment. That establishment was made up principally of the mainline denominations. But today evangelicals have become the religious establishments, however informally. But despite this, I believe that today we are in some peril. We have a fight on our hands and what we’re fighting for is our evangelical soul, for it is possible for us to gain the whole religious world while losing our own souls. I do not say this because I am one of those who thinks that the best is always what is in the past, that we are always in a state of decline, and that if we want to think of a golden age we have to think of something that is behind us. I do not think that way at all. In some ways we, today, are better off than we were twenty-five years ago. Perhaps a lot better off. And yet in spite of that, I believe there are matters within the evangelical world today which are seriously amiss. [click to continue…]


Hearing Jesus Christ Our God in the Darkness of ISIS


While there are many political, religious, ethical and moral thoughts and points of view on the matter of ISIS, we all know that murder is evil. I do believe though that for Christians, that is all who are Born of God in Christ Jesus, we have a bigger hope than stopping the killing of Christians. It is a good hope to want this to stop, but it is also contradictory to the promise of God for His people. Scripture is replete with examples and certainty of suffering and martyrdom, especially for those true Christians who stand in opposition by their lives and worship against a way of life that is wicked.

So, let’s hear God’s voice on some areas that we need to be careful not to forget:

  1. That this is not new. Christians have been slaughtered for millennia and it should be expected. (2 Tim3; 1 Peter 4)
  2. There is no power under the sun that can stop it. Only the preaching of the gospel can change the heart of man. There is no possible remedy apart from God recreating a murderer into a new life. So we must pray, not “politic.”
  3. Let’s not forget that the evil or martyrdom is not greater than the evil of murder. This includes the killing of the unborn, the ignoring of the ill, mentally ill, or elderly and also the gossip from the mouths of many as they slander their neighbors and their enemies.
  4. Recognize that even in the darkest hour, martyrs of Christ are “like” their Savior as Paul proclaims that he desires to “fill up what is lacking in the suffering of Christ.”
  5. Those who are dying by the sword are not begging for their lives but just as it began with Stephen in Acts 7, it continues today as those who are preparing to die are really preparing to live as they pray for their oppressor’s souls. After all, Paul did the same thing when God saved him.
  6. It is an honor to be killed for the faith, even though it is evil. Acts 5:41 shows that the disciples rejoiced that they were worthy of being beaten for the sake of Christ. This is surely crazy! Yes.
  7. Praying not just for the Christians, but for the gospel to go out. God uses martyrdom to SHAKE the trees of harvest as He did in Jerusalem in order to bring the gospel to us…
  8. Praying and loving our enemies is one of the KEY evidences of regeneration. If we hate ISIS, we do not have the love of God in us. Period.
  9. Let us not think for a moment that this will not happen to true Christians in our nation. It will if time tarries. The question is will it be our ISIS persecutors or our so-called Baptist brothers who take off our heads? The true church does what is necessary to continue to preach the gospel in obedience to Christ, even at the cost of death.

Much more is in my heart to share, but time has put an end to my pen.  Let’s leave with God’s sovereign word to guide our thoughts on the above list.

Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And

“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. (1 Peter 4:16-19 ESV)

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful—

for he cannot deny himself. (2 Timothy 2:1-13 ESV)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48 ESV)

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. (Romans 12:14 ESV)

Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus. (Acts 5:41-42 ESV)

For His Glory by His Grace,

Pastor James Tippins


Oh Spurgeon, Where is Thy Voice? Romans 8:34

Scriptural Authority

What a delight I have in my soul this evening while trolling through some of the sermons of our beloved brother CH Spurgeon.  In defense of the call to the question, “Who is it that condemns?” Paul expressly answers, “IT is Christ that died.”  How amazing, how divine, that our hope rests in NOTHING except the Gospel of God through Jesus Christ. While I have much to say, it is well fitting to allow a few excerpts to the introduction of the matter by Spurgeon.

Praise our Lord!

I want you to notice that Paul does not even rest his confidence as to the believers’ safety upon the fact that they are able to say, “We have trusted in Christ; we have loved Christ; we have served Christ.” He allows nothing to mar the glory of this one blessed fact, “It is Christ that died.” If he adds anything at all, it is still something about that same Christ—”yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
    This is a subject upon which I delight to speak; for here is all my hope and confidence. In these words I see first, a challenge to all comers: “Who is he that condemneth?” Secondly, I see here, a remedy for all sin. If any take up the gage of battle, and say, “We condemn you,” we shall have this for our complete answer to every one, “It is Christ that died.” And lastly, I see here, an answer to every accusation arising from sin. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died.”

Enough said for sure, Amen. I pray all our voices would ring true to the word of God and that the mundane vomit of parenthetical waste would be stricken from our tongues. Let God’s men breathe God’s word!

For His Glory by His Grace,

Pastor James