What Sweet Peace!

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

When the Holy Spirit takes of the things of Christ and preaches them to the heart–oh, what a sweet peace follows! For the believer then finds himself saved from all the miseries of sin, and entitled to all the blessings of eternal glory.

Being thus persuaded of his safety by believing in the sin-atoning blood of our Great High Priest, the Holy Spirit then teaches him how to live upon Christ, and how to make use of Christ’s fullness.

On our learning this lesson depends our comforting walk heavenward. For Christ does not give us a stock of grace and expect us to improve it by being faithful to grace given. No, no, that is not His way. Our souls must depend upon Him, just as our bodies do upon the elements of this world. Every moment we must live by faith upon His fullness, and be every moment receiving out of it grace upon grace.

And this is our happiness–to have all in Christ!

A beggar in myself, but rich with unsearchable eternal riches in Him.

Ignorant still in myself, but led and taught by His unerring wisdom.

A sinner still, but saved by His blood and righteousness.

Weak and helpless still, but kept by His Almighty love.

Nothing but sorrow in myself, nothing but joy in Him.

Oh, this is a blessed life!

No tongue can tell what a Heaven it is, thus to live by faith upon the Son of God. Thanks be to Him, that I do know a little of it. Surely I could not have thought, some years ago, that there was such a Heaven upon earth as I now find. May you find it more and more! Sweet Jesus keep you, my dear friend!

Yours,
William Romaine

Like Dust in the Wind

6d84a2f11faaeece5ed0256704c7a4cf(Octavius Winslow, “This God is Our God”)

“For this God is our God forever and ever–He will be our guide even to the end.” Psalm 48:14

“The world passes away.”

Everything here in this present world is changing.

Life is like a painted dream,
Like the rapid summer stream,
Like the fleeting meteor’s ray,
Like the shortest winter’s day,
Like the fitful breeze that sighs,
Like the waning flame that dies,
Darting, dazzling on the eye,
Fading in eternity.”

A rope of sand,
a spider’s web,
a silken thread,
a passing shadow,
an ebbing wave,
are the most fitting and expressive emblems of all things belonging to this present time’s state.

The homes that sheltered us in childhood we leave.

The land which gave us birth we leave.

The loved ones who encircled our hearths pass away.

The friends of early years depart.

And the world that was so sunny, and life that was so sweet, is all beclouded and embittered; the whole scenery of existence changed into wintry gloom.

Such are the saddening, depressing effects of life’s vicissitudes.

But in the midst of all, “This God is our God FOREVER AND EVER!”

All beings change, but God.

All things change, but Heaven.

The revolutions of time revolve, the events of earth go onward–but He upon whom all things hang, and by whom all events are shaped and controlled, moves not.

“I, the Lord, do not change.”

Our affairs may alter.

Our circumstances may change.

Our relations and friends may depart one by one.

Our souls in a single day pass through many fluctuations of spiritual feeling.

But He who chose us to be His own, and who has kept us to the present moment, is our covenant God and Father forever and ever, and will never throw us off and cast us away.

“For this God is our God forever and ever–
He will be our guide even to the end!” Psalm 48:14

Reflecting on ’16 While Looking toward ’17

I’ve noticed people posting their “word for 2017″ on Facebook. There are two words that come to my mind that I feel a need to grow in: Faith and Victory.

This past year, I really struggled in those departments. It is so easy to let the cares of life bring one down and yet, when we do that, we are failing to communicate to the world that we serve a magnificent God who is greater than our burdens.

I also want to be more of an encouragement to others this year. This will require focusing on others more than myself but, with God’s help, I want to do that. There are so many hurting, lonely people in the world. I pray that I will do better at pointing others to Jesus, who is the Hope and Life that they need.

I know that I will be tested on these things. Any time God is working, the enemy of our souls is also working to discourage us and keep us from fulfilling God’s plans for our lives.

walking

We never know what a year will bring, but we do know that, if we walk with the Lord, He will walk with us through every storm that we face.

I am blessed with friends who have stuck with me and encouraged me this year when I felt like they should have left me to wallow in my own misery.  That is the sign of a true friend: one who will not be pushed away by negativity but will continue to be there to listen, pray for you, and just “be there” for you. I am so blessed to have people like that in my life.

This reminds me of how much we need the Body of Christ. Don’t take your Brothers and Sisters for granted. If you find that person who knows how to encourage you and is not afraid to challenge you when you need it, treasure them. Friends like that are hard to find and yet sometimes we don’t notice them because we are too busy with our own lives to pay attention.

May this coming year find you drawing ever closer to our Lord and Savior. May we all become more selfless and more God-full. May this be our greatest year yet!

Fruit of the Spirit 4: Patience

Oh boy. This is another hard one. I’m sure we’ve all heard people say, “Don’t pray for patience. God will test you on it.” I want to suggest that we should indeed pray for patience. The fact is we all need it, whether it’s standing in line at the checkout counter, waiting for a family member to get ready so we can leave, trying to teach something to a person who just is not getting it. There are many things that come up in a day’s time that requires our patience … unless we want to alienate ourselves from everyone around us.

First Corinthians 13:4 tells us that “Love suffers long.” If you truly love a person, you are going to bear with them. Instead of letting your frustration show, you will breathe deep and remind yourself that, sure, you may be a little late but you will be with your loved one and it’s not worth both of you being stressed as you go out the door.

patience

Sometimes we must make a conscious effort to do the right thing and I expect patience may be something that does not come easy for you but it is something you must work on. I am not a patient person by nature but, with God’s help, I have learned to trust Him when things do not go my way. As long as I am not making people wait on me, I’ve learned to get ready, let others know I’m ready when they are, and then find something to occupy my time until we are ready to go. It has done a lot to help my relationships.

In the words of Herbert the snail, “Have patience. Have patience. Don’t be in such a hurry. When you get impatient, you only start to worry. Remember. Remember that God is patient too and think of all the times when others have to wait for you.”

That puts it into perspective. Just as I want others to be patient with me, so I must be patient in return. I am still a work in progress but I’m thankful that God is working.

Sermon of the week: “The Judiazers” by Phil Johnson.

Your sermon of the week is the first in a five-part series entitled A Survey of Heresies. Every two weeks DefCon will be bringing you the next installment in this series from Phil Johnson on the top five major heresies that have plagued the church since its inception, and continues to rear its ugly head in the form of the cults and false Christian religions of today.

We begin this series with The Judiazers.

Quotes (815)

Modern Roman Catholicism is the monstrous tree that sprang from the acorn of the Judiazers.

– Phil Johnson

Are you a Roman Catholic or a Christian?

Are you a Roman Catholic or a Christian?

Grab pen and paper and take the following ten-question quiz (formulated by Dr. J. Ronald Blue of Dallas Theological Seminary). How you do will determine whether you’re a Roman Catholic or a Christian.

Choose the position which is most true:

1:

A). God gives a man right standing with Himself by mercifully accounting him righteous.

B). God gives a man right standing with Himself by actually making him into a righteous person.

2:

A). God gives a man right standing with Himself by placing Christ’s goodness and virtue to his credit.

B). God gives a man right standing with Himself by putting Christ’s goodness and virtue into his heart.

3:

A). God accepts the believer because of the moral excellence found in Christ.

B). God makes a believer acceptable by infusing Christ’s moral excellence into his life.

4:

A). If a man becomes born again, he will achieve right standing with God.

B). If a sinner receives right standing with God, he will then experience a transformation of character and life.

5:

A). We receive right standing with God through faith alone.

B). We receive right standing with God by faith and love.

6:

A). We achieve right standing with God by having Christ live out His life of obedience in us.

B). We achieve right standing with God by receiving the truth that he obeyed the Law of God perfectly for us.

7:

A). We achieve right standing with God by following Christ’s example by the help of enabling grace.

B). We follow Christ’s example because His life has given us right standing with God.

8:

A). God first declares us good, and then His Spirit begins making us good.

B). God sends His Spirit to make us good, and then He will declare that we are good.

9:

A). Christ’s finished work on the cross and intercession at God’s right hand gives us favor in God’s sight.

B). It is the indwelling Christ that gives us favor in God’s sight.

10:

A). Only by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness can we fully satisfy the claims of the Ten Commandments.

B). By the power of the Holy Spirit living in us we can fully satisfy the claims of the Ten Commandments.

Bonus Question 1:

You get to Heaven by works: True or False

Bonus Question 2:

Our faith is the ground of our salvation: True or False

Answers . . .

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