Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
PRBC Evening Sermon, Hebrews 1:3-4, 9/28/08
10/24/2008 - James White
PRBC AM Service, 9/28/08, Hebrews 1
10/22/2008 - James WhiteI am providing the entirety of the morning service from PRBC on 9/28/08. Normally I only provide the sermon, but since some have never been to a Reformed Baptist service, I thought I would provide it all. Of course, the sound is marginal in light of the fact that this is just a small (very small) digital camera doing the recording, but hopefully it will be useful anyway.
Go See Fireproof!
10/13/2008 - James WhiteOK, I'm obviously behind the times. Too buried to see straight, all that stuff. But after a couple who frequent our chat channel went and saw Fireproof a few evenings ago, and came back just bubbling about how good it was, I decided I would take my wife and we would catch a matinee showing today. I don't see many movies, to be honest. I saw Rocky Balboa (what was that, December of 2006?), and the next movie I saw in a theater was Expelled. So today the wife and I went and saw Fireproof.
All I can say is "wow." Simply tremendous. Yes, yes, I'm biased. How? Well, if you have seen any of the new season of Way of the Master you know I have spent time with Kirk and Ray. In fact, as soon as the film was over and we were walking out of the theater I called Kirk and congratulated him on a tremendous performance. But I will tell you, at the climax of the film all you could hear in the theater was quiet weeping from both men and women, it was that moving. I could not help but rejoice that a film of this quality was screening at the same time as Bill Maher's celebration of depravity.
So while I am way behind on this topic, let me at least encourage you to catch Fireproof while it is still in theaters. Husbands, take your wives! Wives, take your husbands! Single people, go anyway! And to Kirk: thank you, brother, for a tremendous performance. May the Lord bless this film to the betterment of many a marriage, and may the gospel message be used to bring His elect unto Himself.
Active Obedience Required
10/03/2008 - Tur8infanI recently came across the following proverb. The proverb is superficially witty:
"Drink wine, and you will sleep well. Sleep, and you will not sin. Avoid sin, and you will be saved. Ergo, drink wine and be saved."
This proverb is partly correct. While one is sleeping, for example, one is generally not out stealing, murdering, fornicating, and telling lies. Sins, however, are not limited to positive acts (sins of commission), but also to the absence of positive acts.
The greatest commandment is
Deuteronmy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
This commandment is a positive one. It is not simply prohibitory, it requires one to act positively toward God, not just refrain from certain sinful acts. Through sleep one can avoid becoming a murderer, but one is also failing to engage in the positive acts commanded in Scripture.
Furthermore, it is the positive acts that are commanded by God that prevent us from ever being able to merit from God. The sixth commandment ("Thou shalt not kill") not only forbids murder, but also implicitly commands us to take actions to preserve life. Thus, when we rally against laws permitting infanticide, we are not performing a meritorious act, we are simply obeying God's commandment.
For recall what Scripture commands:
Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
The proverbial "Good Samaritan" may feel warm and fuzzy after helping out his neighbour, but even the Good Samaritan is simply doing that which God commands. Thus, even the best mere man who most perfectly loves God and his neighbor can only hope to have a very small number of sins on his account: he can never hope to have anything more than debt to God.
Because of this principle, there is only one source of merit. To use a timely analogy, there is only one $700 Billion bailout plan. That one source of merit is Jesus Christ, the righteous. Jesus perfectly obeyed the law of God, thereby earning (under the covenant of works) life. Nevertheless, Jesus sacrificed that life to suffer punishment in place of sinners: punishment he did not personally deserve.
This bailout plan is not a redistribution of wealth from workers to bankers, but is instead redemption for slaves. Even the best mere man is a sinner in God's sight, deserving wrath and hell forever. Christ, by dying redeemed for himself a people out of all parts of the world.
If you are trusting in anything except that one acceptable sacrifice, you will appear before the judge of all the earth in debt, and will be justly sentenced to hell. So now, while there is time, turn from your sins, and embrace the Lamb of God, by whose blood you may be cleansed from your guilt.
You cannot measure up to the law of God on your own. You cannot do so through drinking, through sleeping, or through any amount of effort on your own part. You cannot do so through the assistance of other mere men, for they all (like yourself) are debtors to the law (as it is written "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"). There is only one hope of salvation:
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Jeremiah 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
Trying to live a good life by avoiding sin is not enough. The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe the gospel.