Archive for May 31st, 2008

It is easy to be duped into thinking that just a little error is harmless and will not matter. And yet Scripture teaches otherwise. Pastor and author Joshua Harris speaks of “half a poison pill” to describe the mindset of many Christians in which they think repeated exposure to just a little bit of evil will not harm them. These Christians seem to think they have a sin threshold beyond which they dare not go. Yet these people may as well ask just how much of a poison pill they need to swallow before it kills them. “The greatest danger of the popular media is not a one-time exposure to a particular instance of sin (as serious as that can be). It’s how long-term exposure to worldliness—little chunks of poison pill, day after day, week after week—can deaden our hearts to the ugliness of sin. Repeated exposure to error can lead us to unwittingly swallow a lethal dose. Error may be subtle but it is always deadly.

The truth is under attack more today than at any other time in history and this should not be surprising in a culture that so values religious freedom and tolerance. Add to such an accepting culture unparalleled speed of communication and the ability to publish books and other writings quickly and easily, and we can rightly conclude that error is being spread with startling speed and efficiency. What the church needs today is a class of believers who are identified as the experts in discernment and as those who have special ability in this area.–Tim Challies, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

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It is judging out of season, and judging at an adventure. (Paul) is not to be understood of judging by persons in authority, within the verge of their office, nor of private judging concerning facts that are notorious; but of judging persons’ future state, or the secret springs and principles of their actions, or about facts doubtful in themselves. To judge in these cases, and give decisive sentence, is to assume the seat of God and challenge His prerogative. Note, how bold a sinner is the forward and severe censurer! How ill-timed and arrogant are his censures! But there is one who will judge the censurer, and those he censures, without prejudice, passion or partiality. And there is a time coming when men cannot fail judging aright concerning themselves and others, by following His judgment. This should make them now cautious of judging others, and careful in judging themselves.– Matthew Henry.

It is important principle to remember, in the contemporary interest in communication and in language study, that the biblical presentation is that though we do not have exhaustive truth, we have from the Bible what I term “true truth.” In this way we know true truth about God, true truth about man, and something truly about nature. Thus on the basis of the Scriptures, while we do not have exhaustive knowledge, we have true and unified knowledge.– Francis Schaeffer, Escape From Reason

“The gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at any given time may say or do, but what he is his deep heart conceives God to be like…Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, “What comes into your mind when you think about God?” We might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man. Without doubt, the mightiest thought the mind can entertain is the thought of God, and the weightiest word in any language is its word for God.–A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

Worldliness is departing from God. It is a man-centered way of thinking; it proposes objectives which demand no radical breach with man’s fallen nature; it judges the importance of things by the present and material results; it weighs success by numbers; it covets human esteem and wants no unpopularity; it knows no truth for which it is worth suffering; it declines to be a “fool for Christ’s sake.” Worldliness is the mindset of the unregenerate. It adopts idols an is at war with God.–Iain Murray

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What is truth?

John MacArthur writes

“Biblical Faith…is rational. It is reasonable. It is intelligent. It makes good sense. And spiritual truth is meant to be rationally contemplated, examined, logically, studied, analyzed, and employed as the only reliable basis for making wise judgments. That process is precisely what Scripture calls discernment.

Like MacArthur, Greg Koukl concludes, “When the Bible talks about discernment—when it talks about assessing spiritual things—it’s talking about a rational assessment based on objective criterion. You can’t be ‘too much in your head’ when it comes to spiritual discernment. Using your head is spiritual discernment, if you’re using the truth properly.” Spiritual discernment is a pursuit that must always engage the mind. We discern truth from error and right from wrong by using our minds to search Scripture, to recall Scripture, and to compare everything to Scripture. Without the Bible and its objective truths there can be no discernment.

Christianity is not a series of truths in the plural, but rather truth spelled with a capital ‘T’. Truth about total reality, not just about religious things. Biblical Christianity is Truth concerning total reality—and the intellectual holding of that total Truth and then living in the light of that Truth.

And what is truth?

“Here’s a simple definition drawn from what the Bible teaches:Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory, and being of God. Even more to the point: truth is the self-expression of God. Truth is the biblical meaning of truth…Truth is theological. Truth is what God thinks; it is what God does; it is what God is; it is what God has revealed of Himself in the Bible. Truth is found in its fullest form in God, for His is truth; He is the very source and origin of all truth.

Quote from Tim Challies, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

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Eternal Glory of the sky,
Blest Hope of frail humanity,
The Father’s sole begotten One,
Yet born a spotless virgin’s Son!

Uplift us with Thine arm of might,
And let our hearts rise pure and bright,
And, ardent in God’s praises, pay
The thanks we owe him every day.

The day-star’s rays are glittering clear,
And tell that day itself is near:
The shadows of the night depart;
Thou, holy Light, illume the heart!

Within our senses ever dwell,
And worldly darkness thence expel;
Long as the days of life endure,
Preserve our souls devout and pure.

The faith that first must be possessed,
Root deep within our inmost breast;
And joyous hope in second place,
Then charity, Thy greatest grace.

All laud to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to Thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the holy Paraclete.

(By Ambrose of Milan)

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