Site Meter
|The Thirsty Theologian| |Sola Gratia| |Sola Fide| |Solus Christus| |Sola Scriptura| |Soli Deo Gloria| |Semper Reformanda|
|The Thirsty Theologian| |Sola Gratia| |Sola Fide| |Solus Christus| |Sola Scriptura| |Soli Deo Gloria| |Semper Reformanda|

Lord’s Day 28, 2018


I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

img

In Him we live and move and exist

—Acts 17:28

Hymn 19. (C. M.)
Our frail bodies, and God our Preserver.

img

Let others boast how strong they be,
Nor death nor danger fear;
But we’ll confess, O Lord, to thee,
What feeble things we are.

Fresh as the grass our bodies stand,
And flourish bright and gay;
A blasting wind sweeps o’er the land,
And fades the grass away.

Our life contains a thousand springs,
And dies if one be gone;
Strange, that a harp of thousand strings
Should keep in tune so long!

But ’tis our God supports our frame,
The God that built us first:
Salvation to th’ Almighty name
That rear’d us from the dust.

[He spoke, and straight our hearts and brains
In all their motions rose;
“Let blood,” said he, “flow round the veins,”
And round the veins it flows.

While we have breath, or use our tongues,
Our Maker we’ll adore;
His Spirit moves our heaving lungs,
Or they would breathe no more.]

The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book II: Composed on Divine Subjects (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997).

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation
if you can possibly help it.
But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these.





In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: O Lord, Thou Judge of All the Earth

Saturday··2018·07·14
O Lord, Thou Judge of All the Earth Distress Psalm 94 O Lord, Thou Judge of all the earth, to whom all vengeance doth belong, arise and show Thy glory forth, requite the proud, condemn the wrong. How long, O Lord, in boastful pride shall wicked men triumphant stand? How long shall they afflict Thy saints and scorn Thy wrath, Thy dreadful hand? Be wise, ye fools and brutish men; shall not He see who formed the eye? Shall not He hear who formed the ear, and judge, who reigneth God most high? The Lord will judge in righteousness, from Him all truth and knowledge flow; the foolish thoughts of wicked men, how vain they are the Lord doth know. That man is blest whom Thou, O Lord, with chastening hand dost teach Thy will, for in the day when sinners fall that man in peace abideth still. Unless the Lord had been my Help, my life had quickly passed away; but when my foot had almost slipped, O Lord, Thy mercy was my stay. Amid the doubts that fill my mind Thy comforts, Lord, bring joy to me; can wickedness, though throned in might, have fellowship, O Lord, with Thee? The wicked, in their might arrayed, against the righteous join their pow’r, but to the Lord I flee for help; He is my Refuge and my Tow’r. —Hymns to the Living God (Religious Affections Ministries, 2017). I could not find a video of this tune. You can listen here. The current hymnal for this series is Hymns to the Living God, recently published by Religious Affections Ministries. This is such a good hymnal that I’m pretty sure I could happily post every hymn it contains, but I’ll be limiting selections to hymns I have never posted here before, especially those unfamiliar to me (of which there are many). For more information and to purchase this hymnal, visit Religious Affections Ministries.

Present Reality

Friday··2018·07·13
[R]egeneration is no less less supernatural than Christ’s own resurrection from the dead. Indeed, it is wrought by the very same divine power by which “He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:20). As a matter of fact, the regeneration of a sinner is the result and a constant reminder of every believer’s participation in Christ’s resurrection and ascension to heaven. God “made us alive together with Christ . . . and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:5–6). Notice that Paul doesn’t use the future tense. When he speaks of being seated in heaven with Christ, he is not describing a promise of some reward yet to come. This is a present reality for every believer, the immediate and direct result of God’s saving work. It’s a spiritual reality, of course. This is Paul’s description of our spiritual union with Christ and the high place of honor that we gain through justification. We must understand verses 5 and 6 in that light. Those two verses bring together the truths of regeneration, justification, and the believer’s union with Christ. God “made us alive” through regeneration. He elevated us to a position of highest privilege (seating us in a place of supreme honor “in the heavenly places”) through justification. All of this—our participation with Christ in His resurrection and our standing with Him before God—is possible because of our spiritual union “in Christ Jesus.” —John MacArthur, The Gospel according to Paul (Thomas Nelson, 2017), 102–103.

“But God . . .”

Thursday··2018·07·12
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. —Ephesians 2:1–10 With these two words [“But God . . .”] we come to the introduction to the Christian message, the peculiar, specific message which the Christian faith has to offer to us. These two words, in and of themselves, in a sense contain the whole gospel. The gospel tells of what God has done, God’s intervention; it is something that comes entirely from outside us and displays to us that wondrous and amazing and astonishing work of God that the apostle goes on to describe and to define in the following verses. —Martyn Lloyd-Jones, cited in John MacArthur, The Gospel according to Paul (Thomas Nelson, 2017), 102. [Original source: “The Christian Message to the World,” The Christ-Centered Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, eds. Elizabeth Catherwood and Christopher Catherwood, (Crossway, 2014), 119.] Related: Two Beautiful Words

The Miracle of Regeneration

Wednesday··2018·07·11
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. —Ephesians 2:1–10 This is a vital truth that bears frequent repetition: Don’t rush past the main point of that passage: whenever a sinner turns to Christ for salvation, it is because God has done a miracle of spiritual resurrection. The common theological term for this is regeneration, or the new birth. This is the same thing Jesus was speaking of when He told Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Our Lord went on to describe redeemed people—all true believers—as those who have been “born of the Spirit” (v. 8). Elsewhere He said, “It is the Spirit who gives life” (6:63). Paul likewise said believers are saved “through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). Here, then, is a simple definition: regeneration is a miracle wrought by the Holy Spirit, whereby He gives life to a spiritually dead soul. This life-giving act of God is a complete spiritual rebirth unto eternal life, no less a miracle than a literal bodily resurrection from the dead. By the way, resurrection and rebirth are kindred concepts, and the Bible uses both of them in reference to the risen Christ. He is “the firstborn from the dead” (Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5). “Now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20). Both rebirth and resurrection are likewise apt descriptions of the miracle that takes place when God regenerates a spiritually dead sinner and gives that person the gift of salvation. —John MacArthur, The Gospel according to Paul (Thomas Nelson, 2017), 97–98.

So Nearly Parallel

Tuesday··2018·07·10
That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other. I do not believe they can ever be welded into one upon any earthly anvil, but they certainly shall be one in eternity. They are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the human mind which pursues them farthest will never discover that they converge, but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring. —Charles Spurgeon, cited in John MacArthur, The Gospel according to Paul (Thomas Nelson, 2017), 92–93. [Original source: “a Defense of Calvinism” in The Autobiography of Charles H. Spurgeon, eds. Susannah Spurgeon and Joseph Harrald, 4 vols. (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1899), 1:177.]

The Gospel’s Center

Monday··2018·07·09
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. —2 Corinthians 5:18–21 The central figure in the gospel is not you. Today’s evangelicals often speak about the gospel as if it were a means of discovering one’s own purpose, a message about how to have a happy and prosperous life, or a method of achieving success in one’s relationships or business. In the minds of many, the best starting point for sharing the gospel is an announcement that “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” All those ways of presenting the gospel have become such common clichés among contemporary Christians that most people in the church today do not flinch when they hear the gospel framed in such language. They don’t notice how profoundly all those narratives deviate from the gospel Paul proclaimed and defended. A major problem with all of them is the way they turn the gospel into a message about “you”—your life, your purpose, your prosperity. You become the center and subject of the story. Those are concepts that would have appalled and outraged Paul. One truth that should stand out boldly in every text we have looked at is that the central figure in the gospel according to Paul is always “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). The apostle takes great care never to let the narrative drift. Here in our text (2 Cor. 5:18–21), Paul’s intention is to explain how “God . . . has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ” (v. 18). He mentions both Christ and God in every verse. In the span of those four verses, he mentions God by name at least once in every verse (five times total). Three additional times he refers to God with pronouns (Himself twice and He once). He uses the Messianic title Christ four times. And in that final verse he refers to Christ twice with the pronoun Him. The entire passage is decidedly God-centered, not man-centered. That should be the case any time we talk about the gospel. It’s first of all a message about God’s purpose in the work of Christ; the sinner’s own purpose in life is secondary. —John MacArthur, The Gospel according to Paul (Thomas Nelson, 2017), 89–90.


2018·07·08
Lord’s Day 27, 2018
2018·07·07
In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Lord, We Bow before Your Glory
2018·07·06
Begging Ambassadors
2018·07·05
Atonement Heresies
2018·07·04
Independence Day, 2018
2018·07·03
Gospel Distractions
2018·07·02
Deeds of the Law

2018·06·24
Lord’s Day 25, 2018
2018·06·23
In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: To God the Only Wise
2018·06·22
The Seal of the Gospel
2018·06·21
One Gospel, Uncompromised
2018·06·20
A Defeated Foe
2018·06·19
Threats from Within
2018·06·18
The Substance of the Sacraments

2018·07·01
Lord’s Day 26, 2018
2018·06·30
In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: King of Glory, King of Peace
2018·06·29
Righteous before God
2018·06·28
The Taint of Sin
2018·06·27
A Hairy Tale
2018·06·26
A Stumbling Block
2018·06·25
Bad News



@TheThirstyTheo



Who Is Jesus?


The Gospel
What It Means to Be a Christian


Norma Normata
What I Believe


Westminster Bookstore


  Sick of lame Christian radio?
  Try RefNet 

Links