by Mike Ratliff
22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:22-27 ESV)
We are exhorted throughout God’s Word to persevere even in the most rugged of circumstances. We are given a promise of what awaits those who do persevere, the adoption as “sons” and redemption of our bodies, which is positional for all truly in Christ. Yet, we look forward to these and other promises with eyes of faith. This temporal part of our life as Christians can be quite a battle with the flesh to the point of crying out like the Apostle Paul, “O wretched man that I am!” (Romans 7:7-25) Weakness in this battle is directly attributable to a lack of praying as we should, while, conversely, victory in this battle is directly attributable to proper praying in the spirit, that is, in harmony with the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than according to one’s own agenda. There are many “church” things out there that are not good for us. These “church” things are the product of those scoffers who have entered the Church to divide it. Continue reading
By Mike Ratliff
Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? John 6:59-61 ESV)
One theologian that has helped me a great deal in my journey into the truth, out of darkness into light, is Dr. C. Matthew McMahon at A Puritan’s Mind. He was the pastor of Christ Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church in South Florida. I subscribed to his podcast of his sermons and eagerly listened to his expository preaching that both edified me and brought me to repentance over many things in my life that God’s Word exposed as His light shown in the darkness of my heart.
However, over the last several months, the podcast sermons ceased. I wondered what had happened. Today I heard another podcast from Dr. McMahon’s Wild Boar radio cast. In it he explained why the doors to Christ Covenant had come to be closed. It was a long explanation, but the reason for what happened to that church could be boiled down into one succinct statement, “The people there could not endure sound doctrine.”
by Chip Brogden
“Therefore the king asked advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the
people, ‘It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods,
O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!'” (I Kings 12:28).
So begins the sad testimony of Israel’s fall from being a holy people to a
backslidden nation of idol-worshippers. How is it that, in such a short
time after the completion of the Temple in Jerusalem, Israel could be led
astray? There is a prophetic application to our current situation. These
things are written as an example to us, so let us look at this defining
moment in Israel’s history and see what lessons can be learned.
I ran across the following article on the coffetrader-news&views blog. I pray that God will use it in your heart as He did mine.
Are We Like Judas?
by Chip Brogden
“Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that you come
together not for the better, but for the worse” (I Corinthians 11:17)
Jesus made it clear that “where two or three are gathered together in My
Name, there I am in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). Just two or three!
I thank and praise God that Jesus did not say, “Where two or three
THOUSAND are gathered together, there I am.” He did not say, “Where two or
three HUNDRED are gathered together, there I am.” And He did not say,
“Where two or three DOZEN are gathered together, there I am.”
Jesus also did not say where the two or three had to be gathered together.
He did not specify a church building or a living room meeting. And He did
not say how many times a week they had to be gathered, or if the
gatherings had to be structured or unstructured, open or closed, inside or
outside. Continue reading