Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Obama's Abortion Extremism

Here is a well written article on Obama's Abortion Extremism [ listen to Robert George on the Albert Mohler program from Oct. 14th here ]
by Robert George
Oct 14, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama's views on life issues ranging from abortion to embryonic stem cell research mark him as not merely a pro-choice politician, but rather as the most extreme pro-abortion candidate to have ever run on a major party ticket.

Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States.

HERE ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ARTICLE (read the full article here )

-- He supports legislation that would repeal the Hyde Amendment, which protects pro-life citizens from having to pay for abortions that are not necessary to save the life of the mother and are not the result of rape or incest.

--He has promised that ''the first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act'' (known as FOCA). This proposed legislation would create a federally guaranteed ''fundamental right'' to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. . .

FOCA would abolish virtually every existing state and federal limitation on abortion, including parental consent and notification laws for minors, state and federal funding restrictions on abortion, and conscience protections for pro-life citizens working in the health-care industry-protections against being forced to participate in the practice of abortion or else lose their jobs. The pro-abortion National Organization for Women has proclaimed with approval that FOCA would ''sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies.''

--Obama, unlike even many ''pro-choice'' legislators, opposed the ban on partial-birth abortions when he served in the Illinois legislature and condemned the Supreme Court decision that upheld legislation banning this heinous practice.

-- He wishes to strip federal funding from pro-life crisis pregnancy centers that provide alternatives to abortion for pregnant women in need. There is certainly nothing ''pro-choice'' about that.

--Obama opposed legislation to protect children who are born alive, either as a result of an abortionist's unsuccessful effort to kill them in the womb, or by the deliberate delivery of the baby prior to viability.

Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is a member of the President's Council on Bioethics and previously served on the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He sits on the editorial board of Public Discourse.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The 500-Year Flood and the Sovereignty of God

If you want to look at the latest flooding through a biblical worldview then you need to check out the following sermons that Eric Schumacher preached at his church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The 500-Year Flood and the Sovereignty of God (read)
Eric M Schumacher – Preached July 6, 2008 at Northbrook Baptist Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Audio will be available here.

The 500-Year Flood and the Response of the Christian (read)
Eric M Schumacher – Preached June 29, 2008 at Northbrook Baptist Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Audio will be available here.

The 500-Year Flood and the God of All Comfort (read)
Eric M Schumacher – Preached June 22, 2008 at Northbrook Baptist Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Audio will be available here.

The 500-Year Flood and the Kingdom of Christ (read)
Eric M Schumacher – Preached June 15, 2008 at Northbrook Baptist Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Sermon audio is available here now.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Planet Earth

Product Description: With an unprecedented production budget of $25 million and from the makers of Blue Planet: Seas of Life comes the epic story of life on Earth. Five years in production over 2000 days in the field using 40 cameramen filming across 200 locations shot entirely in high definition this is the ultimate portrait of our planet. A stunning television experience that captures rare action impossible locations and intimate moments with our planet's best-loved wildest and most elusive creatures. From the highest mountains to the deepest rivers this blockbuster series takes you on an unforgettable journey through the daily struggle for survival in Earth's most extreme habitats. Planet Earth takes you to places you have never seen before to experience sights and sounds you may never experience anywhere else.Running Time:

Tim Challes gives nine reasons why you should watch Planet Earth. He states, “While the producers of the series are not Christians (or do not claim to be Christians) and while the films were not meant to draw attention to God, as I watched them I was continually drawn to marvel in the greatness of the Lord. As the films provided a tour of so many beautiful locations and as they gave close-up shots of such incredible creatures, I saw the hand of a Creator. I saw it everywhere.”

I am reading Calvin’s, Institutes of the Christian Religion, and I have enjoyed the section on, "The Knowledge of God the Creator" . Challes’ comment, “I saw the hand of a Creator. I saw it everywhere” reminded me of a couple of Calvin’s quotes: “Yet, in the first place, wherever you cast your eyes, there is no spot in the universe wherein you cannot discern at least some sparks of his glory. You cannot in one glance survey the most vast and beautiful system of the universe, in its wide expanse, without being completely overwhelmed by the boundless force of its brightness…” or just a few sentences later his says, “There are innumerable evidences both in heaven and on earth that declare his wonderful wisdom; not only those more recondite matters for the closer observation of which astronomy, medicine, and all natural science are intended, but also those which thrust themselves upon the sight of even the most untutored and ignorant persons, so that they cannot open their eyes without being compelled to witness them.”

John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion (ed. John T. McNeill; trans. Ford Lewis Battles; 2 vols.; LCC; Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960), 52-53.

"O LORD, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your possessions."
Psalm 104:24

"Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created."
Revelation 4:11

Monday, May 26, 2008

Wonder All Around: Horses

Do you give the horse his might?
Do you clothe his neck with a mane?
(Job 39:19)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Absent From The Body--Present With The Lord

Recently I was with fellow Christian when his wife died. One of the first things he said was that she was now with the Lord. He paraphrased 2 Corinthians 5:8 which says, “we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.”

Christians are in a win/win situation. Check out the following passage:

Philippians 1:20-26.

Phil 1:20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but {that} with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
Phil 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Phil 1:22 But if {I am} to live {on} in the flesh, this {will mean} fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.
Phil 1:23 But I am hard-pressed from both {directions,} having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for {that} is very much better;
Phil 1:24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.
Phil 1:25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith,
Phil 1:26 so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.

Paul was in prison for the cause of Christ (Philippians 1:12-16) and he was telling the Philippian believers about his situation.
· (Paul) I want Christ to be glorified in my body either by life or by death (Philippians 1:20). Why? You might ask. Paul’s response,
· My life is about Christ and if I die it will only be gain (don’t worry about me because I am in a win / win situation. If I live—I am living for Christ, if I die that will only be to my advantage). Let me explain:
· If I get to live, it means fruitful labor for me (1:22) and I can continue for your progress and joy in the faith (1:25).
· Paul was hard pressed between the two situations as he said “I am hard-pressed from both {directions,} having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for {that} is very much better (1:23); yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake (1:24), in order that he might “continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith (1:25).

Why is “dying” a gain for Paul (1:21)? Because, “to depart and be with Christ, for {that} is very much better” (1:23). Paul was hard pressed, because he desired to remain in the flesh (body in this context) (1:22) in order to minister to others, yet on the other hand—departing to be with Christ would be “far better” (1:23). For the Philippians’ sake it would be necessary (1:24) to stay and minister to their needs as it relates to their progress and joy in the faith (1:25). This passage is not hard to understand. Paul’s goal in life was to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. He loved to minister to others in the name of Christ, and if he died, it would only mean that he would get to be present with Christ. It is simple. Paul was in a win win situation and he couldn’t lose. He was in prison for preaching the gospel and while he was in prison he preached the gospel (1:12-16). If he lived he would minister to others (1:24-25), but if the ultimate happened, Paul would “depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better” (1:23). Why is it better to die? Because it ushers Paul into the very presence of Christ. Take your Bible out and read chapter one and see for yourself that this was clearly the mindset of Paul.

The consistent teaching throughout church history is that when a believer dies, his body goes into the ground and his soul goes to heaven to be in the very presence of Jesus.

I have been with precious believers who have been told they have a serious surgery to face and I let them know that they are in a win win situation. If it is God’s desire that they remain on for more years on earth then that will mean they can continue to minister to their family and others, but if that is not the outcome, then they are still winners because they will be present with the Lord. This has brought comfort to many that have been faced with such circumstances. I have been on mission trips out of the country and have prayed that God would allow me to return safely, if it would be his will, because I can continue to minister to my family, church family and others. You see, my wife’s first husband died when she was six months pregnant and I have been mindful of such situations and know how hard it would be if I departed to be with Christ since we have two school-aged children and one in college. Now we have talked about this passage as husband and wife and my desire is like Paul’s. As a matter of fact, my wife has told me many times that she is putting Philippians 1:21 on my tombstone because for over eighteen years now, it has been one of my favorite texts in the New Testament: “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” If God allows me to live it will mean fruitful labor for me and will be more necessary for others in their progress and joy in the faith which I truly love, but if death comes knocking it will only mean that I will depart from this life and will be present with the Lord—which is far better than anything I can comprehend.

Praise be to Jesus—when death comes knocking and comes in to snuff out this earthly body, as a Christian I will depart and be with Christ my Lord. This one fact is truly exhilarating to meditate on. Oh, may you understand this great truth!

***See also     for Scripture relating to the believer's resurrected body.
audio sermon here

Therefore we also have as our ambition,
whether at home or absent,
to be pleasing to Him.
2 Corinthians 5:9

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Israel: Is that Ok to Say?

Israel is celebrating 60 years back in their homeland, yet there is controversy among Christians surrounding Israel's land promises in Scripture.

( Editorial review) Author Barry E. Horner writes to persuade readers concerning the divine validity of the Jew today (based on Romans 11:28), as well as the nation of Israel and the land of Palestine, in the midst of this much debated issue within Christendom at various levels. He examines the Bible’s consistent pro-Judaic direction, namely a Judeo-centric eschatology that is a unifying feature throughout Scripture.

Lest one thinks that the need for Israel to be back in their homeland is a modern day dispensational misunderstanding--check out the following quotes from the 1800's:

Horner brings out the interesting fact that C.H. Spurgeon, J.C. Ryle, and Horatius Bonar, all of the 1800’s, had the hope and expectation of a Jewish state in Israel.Horatius Bonar wrote in 1870:

I am one of those who believe in Israel’s restoration and conversion; who receive it as a future certainty, that all Israel shall be gathered, and that all Israel shall be saved. I believe that the sons of Abraham are to re-inherit Palestine, and that the forfeited fertility will yet return to that land; that the wilderness and the solitary places shall be glad for them, and the desert will rejoice and blossom as the rose. I believe that, meanwhile, Israel shall not only be wanderers, but that everywhere only a remnant, a small remnant, shall be saved; and that it is for the gathering in of this remnant that our missionaries go forth.

Speaking on Ezekiel 37:1-10 in 1864, Spurgeon declared,

first, that there shall be a political restoration of the Jews to their own land and to their own nationality; and then, secondly, there is in the text, and in the context, a most plain declaration, that there shall be a spiritual restoration, a conversion in fact, of the tribes of Israel. . . . Israel is now blotted out from the map of nations; her sons are scattered far and wide; her daughters mourn beside all the rivers of the earth. Her sacred song is hushed; no king reigns in Jerusalem; she bringeth forth no governors among her tribes. But she is to be restored; she is to be restored “as from the dead."

In 1887 he declared,

We cannot help looking for the restoration of the scattered Israelites to the land which God has given to them by a covenant of salt: we also look for the time when they shall believe in the Messiah whom they have rejected, and shall rejoice in Jesus of Nazareth, whom to-day they despise. There is great encouragement in prophecy to those who work among the seed of Israel; and it is greatly needed, for of all mission fields it has been commonly represented to be one of the most barren, and upon the work the utmost ridicule has been poured. God has, therefore, supplied our faith with encouragements larger than we have in almost any other direction of service. Let those who believe work on! Those who believe not may give it up. They shall not have the honor of having helped to gather together the ancient nation to which our Lord himself belonged; for be it never forgotten that Jesus was a Jew.

Check out:

The Promised Land: A Biblical-Historical View by: Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Ph.D. , President Emeritus Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Old Testament, 1993.A.B. (Wheaton College); B.D. (Wheaton Graduate School of Theology); M.A., Ph.D. (Brandeis University).

When I read through the Bible a few years back, I started keeping track of all of the land references and was surprised at the emphasis on the promise of land. Here are a few :

Genesis 12:7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.
Genesis 13:15 for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. Genesis 15:7 And He said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.”
Genesis 17:8 “I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
Genesis 24:7; 26:3; 28:4,13; 35:12; 48:4,21; 50:24

Exodus 3:8,17; 6:4,8; 12:25; 13:5,11; 20:12; 23:31
Exodus 33:1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Depart, go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up from the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’

Leviticus 14:34; 20:22-24; 23:10; 25:2,38; 26:42
Numbers 11:12; 13:2; 14:8,16,23-24,30-31; 15:2,18; 20:12; 27:12; 32:2-14; 33:51-54; 35:10; 36:2

Deuteronomy 1:8,21,25,35-36; 2:12; 3:18-20,28; 4:1,5,14,21-22,26,38,40; 5:16,31,33; 6:1,10,18,23; 7:1,13; 8:1,7,10; 9:5-6,23,28; 10:11; 11:8-12,17,21,29; 12:1,10,29; 15:4,7; 16:20; 17:14; 18:9; 19:1,8,10,14; 27:2-3; 28:8,11,52,63; 30:5,16,18,20; 31:7,13,21,23; 32:47,49,52; 34:4
27:2 …“the land which the Lord your God gives you”
28:8 … “the land which the Lord your God gives you”

Scripture puts a big emphasis on Israel being given the land and it seems one should be very careful about declaring that their eviction notice is final—especially when God is the land owner.

I am not an expert in this area and plan to read more on this topic!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Together for the Gospel

Together for the Gospel

Together for the Gospel (T4G) began as a friendship between four pastors. These friends differed on a number of theological issues, like baptism and the charismatic gifts. But they were committed to standing together for the main thing—the gospel of Jesus Christ..

So they began a conference which occurs every two years and aims principally at encouraging other pastors to do the same—to stand together for the gospel. And now this conference is evolving, as God pleases, into an informal network of church leaders who all share this ambition and who intend to encourage one another to do the same.

T4G is convinced that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been misrepresented, misunderstood, and marginalized in many churches and among those who proclaim the name of Christ. The goal of these friendships, conferences, and networks is therefore to reaffirm this central doctrine of the Christian faith and to encourage local churches to do the same.

The four long-time friends, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, C. J. Mahaney, and Albert Mohler, also asked their friends Thabiti Anyabwile, John MacArthur, John Piper, and R. C. Sproul to join them for these conferences, since each of these men has been contributing so valuably to the church today.

For a more detailed explanation of T4G’s theological affirmations and denials,
click here

T4G Audio & Video
Here are links to each of the sermons:
Session I Ligon Duncan - Sound Doctrine - Essential to Faithful Pastoral Ministry Download

Session II Thabiti Anyabwile - Bearing the Image: Identity, the Work of Christ, and the Church

Session III John MacArthur - The Sinner Neither Able Nor Willing: The Doctrine of Absolute Inability

Session IV Mark Dever - Improving the Gospel: Exercises in Unbiblical Theology

Session V RC Sproul - The Curse Motif of the Atonement

Session VI Albert Mohler - Why Do They Hate It So? The Doctrine of Substitution

Session VII John Piper - How the Supremacy of Christ Creates Radical Christian Sacrifice

Session VIII CJ Mahaney - Sustaining a Pastor’s Soul

Friday, April 18, 2008

Compassion Forum With A View From The Womb

Hillary and Obama answered a variety questions at the CNN’s Compassion Forum. This blog post is the extended edition of the “Compassion Forum” with a “view from the womb.” For the original transcript you can Google: conception, Hillary, Obama, Compassion Forum and get a slew of references …or view it on Youtube… Below are Obama’s and Hillary’s response to the abortion issue with an added “view from the womb”...which I have provided.

MEACHAM: Senator, do you believe personally that life begins at conception?

CLINTON: I believe that the potential for life begins at conception. I am a Methodist, as you know. My church has struggled with this issue. In fact, you can look at the Methodist Book of Discipline and see the contradiction and the challenge of trying to sort that very profound question out.But for me, it is also not only about a potential life; it is about the other lives involved. And, therefore, I have concluded, after great, you know, concern and searching my own mind and heart over many years, that our task should be in this pluralistic, diverse life of ours in this nation that individuals must be entrusted to make this profound decision, because the alternative would be such an intrusion of government authority that it would be very difficult to sustain in our kind of open society.And as some of you've heard me discuss before, I think abortion should remain legal, but it needs to be safe and rare. And I have spent many years now, as a private citizen, as first lady, and now as senator, trying to make it rare, trying to create the conditions where women had other choices.I have supported adoption, foster care. I helped to create the campaign against teenage pregnancy, which fulfilled our original goal 10 years ago of reducing teenage pregnancies by about a third. And I think we have to do even more.

HUMAN IN THE WOMB: Senator Clinton, How am I “potential life”? Before my mother even knew she was pregnant, my heart was beating. I am 7 weeks old and will be in this womb for many more weeks, but if I understand you correctly, you believe that it should be legal to kill me? I can be suctioned to death and you think that is morally acceptable? I can have instruments cut my limbs apart. I can be deluged in a saline solution and you think that is a right?

MEACHAM: Senator, do you personally believe that life begins at conception? And if not, when does it begin?

OBAMA: This is something that I have not, I think, come to a firm resolution on. I think it's very hard to know what that means, when life begins. Is it when a cell separates? Is it when the soul stirs? So I don't presume to know the answer to that question. What I know, as I've said before, is that there is something extraordinarily powerful about potential life and that that has a moral weight to it that we take into consideration when we're having these debates.

HUMAN IN THE WOMB: Senator Obama, I am seven weeks of age and be honest, you believe that it should be a legal right to kill me throughout the full nine months of my life in the womb, and if I survive an abortion, you believe that I should be left to die without intervention. There is something very powerful about my human life in the womb, which you call potential life, which has moral weight to it, sir.

I heard through the wall of the womb, an article read aloud that was written by Sherif Girgis, that was addressed to you--Mr. Obama. Here is what got me kicking:
"You have asked me to vote for you. In turn, may I ask you three simple questions? They are straightforward questions of fact about abortion. They are at the heart of the debate. In fairness, I believe that you owe the people you would lead a good-faith answer to each:

1. The heart whose beating is stilled in every abortion — is it a human heart?

2. The tiny limbs torn by the abortionist’s scalpel — are they human limbs?

3. The blood that flows from the fetus’s veins — is it human blood?

If the stopped heart is a human heart, if the torn limbs are human limbs, if the spilled blood is human blood, can there be any denying that what is killed in an abortion is a human being? In your vision for America, the license to kill that human being is a right. You have worked to protect that “right” at every turn. But can there be a right to deny some human beings life or the equal protection of the law? [read the full article here: ]

Thank you Sherif Girgis! I know you are a senior philosophy major at Princeton University and a 2008 Rhodes Scholar, but it doesn't take Rhodes Scholar to figure out that abortion is a moral outrage does it? Way to go Sherif!

Here are some of my own thoughts from the womb:

* A human being is a human being no matter how small they are.

*How am I not a living human being?

  • *Should I have the right to live?
  • *Why should someone have the right to tear me limb from limb?

*My heart was beating around 24 days of being conceived.

Thank you to Life Issues who gave me permission to use this great photograph. You can check them out at

HUMAN IN THE WOMB: Senator Obama and Senator Hillary, as post womb human beings, would you please check out the research that your fellow senators did in 1981? In 1981, a United States Senate judiciary subcommittee received the following testimony from a collection of medical experts (Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, Report, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981):

Professor Micheline Matthews-RothHarvard University Medical School
"It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive...It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception."

Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni, Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, University of Pennsylvania "I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception."

Dr. Jerome LeJeune, Professor of Genetics, University of Descartes "After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. [It] is no longer a matter of taste or is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception."

Professor Hymie, GordonMayo Clinic
"By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception."

Dr. Watson A. Bowes, University of Colorado Medical School
"The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter – the beginning is conception."

The official Senate report reached this conclusion: Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being - a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.

Check out resources:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"All sorts of subjects are eargerly pursued; but the knowledge of God is neglected. . . . Yet to know God is man's chief end, and justifies his existence. Even if a hundred lives were ours, this one aim would be sufficient for them all."

This quote is from Calvin's commentary on Jeremiah 9:24 found in the introduction of the Institutes... see
John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion (ed. John T. McNeill; trans. Ford Lewis Battles; 2 vols.; LCC; Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960), Lxxi.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bald Eagles and the Glory of God

Every year hundreds of bald eagles migrate to our area and leave in the early spring. One day I found an area where many of them were sitting in the trees along the river and I simply waited until they took flight. Here is one of the pictures I took. I added my favorite creation quote from Revelation 4:11 and a well known verse from Isaiah 40:31.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Called as Saints

I. Paul called all the Roman believers—saints.

Romans 1:6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are a saint (Romans 1:7)
The NT references for "saints: (Acts 9:13, 32, 41; 26:10; Rom. 1:7; 8:27; 12:13; 15:25, 26, 31; 16:2, 15; 1 Cor 1:2; 6:1, 2; 14:33; 16:1, 15; 2 Cor. 1:1, 8:4; 9:1, 12; 13:13; Eph. 1:1, 15, 18; 2:19; 3:8, 18; 4:12; 5:3; 6:18; Phil. 1:1; 4:22; Col. 1:2, 4, 12, 26; 1 Thess. 3:13; 2 Thess. 1:10; Philemon 1:5, 7; Heb. 6:10; 13:24; Jude 1:3; Rev. 5:8; 8:3, 4; 11:18; 13:7; 13:10; 14:12; 16:6; 17:6; 18:20, 24; 19:8; 20:9)

The word “saint(s)” is the word that is used most often in the New Testament just as we use the word “Christian” to describe a believer of today. The following are the NT references for saints: *Look them up in there context...

harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem. . . Acts 9:13
also to the saints who lived at Lydda. . . Acts 9:32
and calling the saints and widows. . . Acts 9:41
lock up many of the saints in prisons. . . Acts 26:10
because He intercedes for the saints. . . Rom 8:27
to the needs of the saints. . . Rom 12:13
going to Jerusalem serving the saints. . . Rom 15:25
the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. . . Rom 15:26
may prove acceptable to the saints. . . Rom 15:31
Lord in a manner worthy of the saints . . . Rom 16:2
and all the saints who are with them. . . Rom 16:15
in Christ Jesus, saints by calling . . . 1 Cor 1:2
unrighteous and not before the saints . . . 1 Cor 6:1
that the saints will judge the world . . . 1 Cor 6:2
as in all the churches of the saints. . . 1 Cor 14:33
the collection for the saints. . . 1 Cor 16:1
themselves for ministry to the saints . . . 1 Cor 16:15
the saints who are throughout Achaia . . . 2 Cor 1:1
in the support of the saints . . . 2 Cor 8:4
you about this ministry to the saints . . . 2 Cor 9:1
supplying the needs of the saints. . . 2 Cor 9:12
All the saints greet you. . . 2 Cor 13:13
God, To the saints who are at Ephesus. . . Eph 1:1
you and your love for all the saints. . . Eph 1:15
glory of His inheritance in the saints. . . Eph 1:18
are fellow citizens with the saints. . . Eph 2:19
To me, the very least of all saints. . . Eph 3:8
be able to comprehend with all the saints. . . Eph 3:18
the equipping of the saints for the work. . . Eph 4:12
among you, as is proper among saints. . . Eph 5:3
and petition for all the saints. . . Eph 6:18
To all the saints in Christ Jesus. . . Php 1:1
All the saints greet you, especially. . . Php 4:22
To the saints and faithful brethren. . . Col 1:2
love which you have for all the saints. . . Col 1:4
the inheritance of the saints in Light. . . Col 1:12
has now been manifested to His saints. . . Col 1:26
of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. . . 1 Th 3:13
be glorified in His saints on that day. . . 2 Th 1:10
Lord Jesus and toward all the saints . . . Phm 1:5
hearts of the saints have been refreshed. . . Phm 1:7
and in still ministering to the saints. . . Heb 6:1
all of your leaders and all the saints. . . Heb 13:24
once for all handed down to the saints. . . Jude 1:3
which are the prayers of the saints. . .Rev 5:8
add it to the prayers of all the saints. . . Rev 8:3
with the prayers of the saints. . . Rev 8:4
and the saints and those who fear. . Rev 11:18
with the saints and to overcome them. . . Rev 13:7
and the faith of the saints. . . Rev 13:10
Here is the perseverance of the saints. . . Rev 14:12
they poured out the blood of saints. . . Rev 16:6
drunk with the blood of the saints. . . Rev 17:6
you saints and apostles and prophets. . . Rev 18:20
found the blood of prophets and of saints. . . Rev 18:24
is the righteous acts of the saints. . . Rev 19:8
of the saints and the beloved city. . . Rev 20:9

The Greek word for "saint" is hagios, holy, set apart
The OT use of the word "holy":
1 Kings 8:4-- holy utensils
Exodus 28:2-- holy garments for the priest
Exodus 29:37-- holy altar

"Called saints" is declarative in nature because in it God declares a person to have a certain status based on something that He Himself has done.

Heb 10:10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Heb 13:12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.

I am a saint by the effectual calling of God not on the basis of my character.


II. Believers are called to a lifestyle (Eph. 5:3; 1 Peter 1:15-16 1 Thess. 4:1-8) which reflects their already given status (Rom. 1:7 ).

If we are saints, we should live accordingly.
Eph 5:3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;

Being called saints, is a statement of identity, not attainment.

Illustration: "act your age"
"Act in a way that is appropriate for your age"
"Behave in a way that is befitting or required for one your age."
"Act in a way that corresponds to your position"
Scripture tells us about the appropriate behavior of believers/saints/Christians/.

Lev 20:26 'Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.
Deut 7:6 "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
Deut 7:7 "The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples,
Deut 7:8 but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

1 Pet 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts {which were yours} in your ignorance,
1 Pet 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all {your} behavior;
1 Pet 1:16 because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."

1 Thess 4:1 Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us {instruction} as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.
1 Thess 4:2 For you know what commandments we gave you by {the authority of} the Lord Jesus.
1 Thess 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; {that is,} that you abstain from sexual immorality;
1 Thess 4:4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,
1 Thess 4:5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;
1 Thess 4:6 {and} that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is {the} avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned {you.}
1 Thess 4:7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.
1 Thess 4:8 So, he who rejects {this} is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Called Ones of Jesus Christ

Romans 1:6 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ

I. What does it mean that the Roman believers are “the called” of Jesus Christ ?

Romans 1:6 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ

Jude 1:1 Jude 1:1 Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ:

There are at least two uses of the word called
(1) The General Call: a call that comes through the preaching of the gospel (Matt. 4; Mark 13:10; Acts 8:40).

(2) The Effectual (Effective) Call: The effectual call is effective, that is, it always results in salvation (Romans 8:30, Romans 1:6-7; I Corinthians 1:9, 26; II Peter 1:10)

"Effective calling is an act of God the Father, speaking through the human proclamation of the gospel, in which he summons people to himself in such a way that they respond in saving faith." (Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1994), 693.

Commentaries of Romans that see the special use of calling here:

- Douglas Moo
“ “Call” and its cognates are used by Paul to express an “effectual” calling. What is meant is not an “invitation” but the powerful and irresistible reaching out of God in grace to bring people into his kingdom.” Douglas G. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, NICNT (Grand Rapids, MI.: Eerdmans, 1996), 54.

Thomas Schreiner
“Here it denotes the effective call accompanying the preaching of the gospel. Those who are called exercise faith in Christ (see 8:28-30). To say that Roman believers are “beloved by God” and “called to be saints” applies language to the church that was used for Israel as God’s elect people.” Thomas R. Schreiner, Romans, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament ( Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 36.

Albert Barnes
"The called of Jesus Christ. Those whom Jesus Christ has called to be his followers. The word called (see ver. 1) denotes not merely an external invitation to a privilege, but it also denotes the internal or effectual call which secures conformity to the will of him who calls, and is thus synonymous with the name Christians, or believers. That true Christians are contemplated by this address is clear from the whole scope of the epistle. See particularly Roman chapter 8."

Matthew Henry
"The called of Jesus Christ; all those, and those only, are brought to an obedience of the faith that are effectually called of Jesus Christ."

Leon Morris
"When we think of our position as Christians we are inclined to think first of what we do, and so we speak of our faith or our commitment or the like. But Paul stresses God’s initiative. Christians are people whom God has called. He goes on to speak of being called to belong to Jesus Christ. There is a responsibility attaching to call. Those called belong to Christ. Their lives are his."
Leon Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, IVP (Leicester: IVP/Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988), 52.

Other key text:
Rom 8:28-30 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to {His} purpose.For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined {to become} conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

**See 1 Cor. 1:18-31 for this effectual calling of God.**

18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;
23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,
24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,
29 so that no man may boast before God.
30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
31 so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."

The ultimate purpose in God choosing and calling us is so that no one would boast before him.

Examples of the divine/effectual call:
One non-salvific example—the raising of Lazarus (Jn 11:39-44)
Salvific—the apostle Paul (Acts 9:1-6; 22:3-11)
Salvific— Lydia (Acts 16:13-14)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Roe v. Wade Numbers

The Consequences of Roe v. Wade
Total Abortions since 1973

[ ]
= the elimination of the 8 states below
(as an illustration)

In the early 90's, as a new believer, one of the first Pro-Life books that I read was by Chuck Swindoll called, The Sanctity of Life: The Inescapable Issue [read it here]. Swindoll said, "Because I am a military veteran, for years I have been especially interested in Americans who were killed in combat. The number of American war casualties is a gripping reality, for sure. But when compared to the number of unborn children who have been killed since abortion was legalized, the contrast is shocking." Then he compares the numbers. The following is much like the one found in his book:

Revolutionary War (1775-1783) 4,435
War of 1812 (1812-1815) 2,260
Mexican War (1846-1848) 13,283
Civil War (1861-1865) 623,026
Spanish-American War (1898) 2,446
World War I (1917-1918) 116,708
World War II (1941-1945) 407,316
Korean War (1950-1953) 36,914
Vietnam War (1964-1973) 58,169
Persian Gulf War (1991) 269
Afghanistan (2002-2007) 350+
Iraq (2003-2007) 4,000+
TOTALS 52 years+ 1,269,195
Abortion totals 35 years + 48,000,000
Swindoll goes on to state, "This is no minor skirmish that is happening. This is war. And the pathetic tragedy of it all is that those who are being killed can neither represent themselves before a court of law nor defend themselves from sure death. Lives are being taken brutally, tragically, and thoughtlessly. It has come to the place where, more often than not, abortion is little more than a convenient method of contraception."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Obama and Partial Birth Abortion

Senator Obama reiterates again where he stands regarding the barbaric Partial Birth Abortion.

Obama Statement on 35th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade Decision
CHICAGO, IL- Senator Barack Obama today released the following statement on the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.
“Thirty-five years after the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, it’s never been more important to protect a woman’s right to choose. Last year, the Supreme Court decided by a vote of 5-4 to uphold the Federal Abortion Ban, and in doing so undermined an important principle of Roe v. Wade: that we must always protect women’s health. With one more vacancy on the Supreme Court, we could be looking at a majority hostile to a women’s fundamental right to choose for the first time since Roe v. Wade. The next president may be asked to nominate that Supreme Court justice. That is what is at stake in this election.”

Watch Dr. Lile demonstrate what Partial Birth Abortion really is.

Where Do The Candidates Stand On Partial Birth Abortion?
( )

Hillary Clinton

Voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

“[Gonzales v. Carhart*] marks a dramatic departure from four decades of Supreme Court rulings that upheld a woman’s right to choose...”

Barack Obama

“I am extremely concerned that [Gonzales v.Carhart*] will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman’s right to choose, and that the conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v. Wade.”

John Edwards

Voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

“I could not disagree more strongly with today’s [Gonzales v. Carhart*] a stark reminder of why Democrats cannot afford to lose the 2008 election.”

Rudy Giuliani

“I support the ban on partial-birth abortion...but ultimately I think when you come down to that choice, you have to respect a woman’s right to make that choice differently than my conscience.”

Fred Thompson

Voted for the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

“The Supreme Court was absolutely right in the… [Gonzales v. Carhart*] partial-birth abortion decision. The very idea that we could even have a debate over whether or not that atrocious activity should be allowable is very unfortunate...”

Mitt Romney

“[The] Court [in Gonzales v. Carhart*] reaffirmed the value of life in America by upholding a ban on a practice that offends basic human decency. [It] represents a step forward in protecting the weakest and most innocent among us.”

John McCain

Voted for the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling [in Gonzales v. Carhart*] is a victory for those who cherish the sanctity of human life.”

Mike Huckabee

Signed the Arkansas Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act into law.

“I applaud the Court’s action [in Gonzales v. Carhart*], which also sends a strong reminder that we must stay vigilant in our cause to protect those who cannot protect themselves.”


Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 (Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and Senate)

Here is part of it:

A moral, medical, and ethical consensus exists that the practice of performing a partial-birth abortion--an abortion in which a physician deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living, unborn child's body until either the entire baby's head is outside the body of the mother, or any part of the baby's trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother and only the head remains inside the womb, for the purpose of performing an overt act (usually the puncturing of the back of the child's skull and removing the baby's brains) that the person knows will kill the partially delivered infant, performs this act, and then completes delivery of the dead infant--is a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary and should be prohibited.

Check out other articles concerning Partial Birth Abortion:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Tragic Anniversary: 35 years of Roe v. Wade

Today marks the tragic anniversary of Roe v Wade.

  • For 35 years we have denied the unborn human beings the right to life. The Declaration of Independence states,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers form the consent of the governed.

What about the 14th Amendment, "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws"?

***A must read: (Monday 1.21.08) Roe v. Wade, 35 Years Later: An Interview with Robert P. George

  • Abortion is the #1 moral issue in America:

3,600-4,000 each day

1.2-1.5 Million a year

46-48 Million since 1973

National Right to Life

The Case for Life

Pro Life Training

Randy Alcorn, Prolife Answers to Prochoice Arguments (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Press, 2000).

Francis J. Beckwith, Politically Correct Death: Answering the Arguments for Abortion Rights (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1993).

C. Ward Kischer and Dianne N. Irving, The Human Development Hoax: Time to Tell the Truth (1997)

Stephen Schwarz, The Moral Question of Abortion (Loyola University Press, 1990).

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

For years I have wanted to read a good book about John Newton. My kids tell me that every time we sing Amazing Grace in church, I share about how Newton was involved in the slave trade and was deep in sin; then by God’s mercy was converted on a ship. He left slave trading and became a pastor for over forty years. He was instrumental in over-turning of the slave trade in Europe. I retell the story so that people will know a little bit about the man behind the hymn. Even these few facts are not enough—you need to read the book.

Crossway has a good description below:

Most Christians know John Newton as a man who once captained a slave ship, was dramatically converted to Christ on the high seas, and later penned one of the greatest hymns of the faith, “Amazing Grace.” But he also had a huge impact on his times as an icon of the evangelical movement, as a great preacher and theologian, and as a seminal influence on abolitionist William Wilberforce. Newton’s friendship with Wilberforce is portrayed in the major motion picture Amazing Grace.
Jonathan Aitken’s new biography John Newton explores all these facets of Newton’s life and character. It is the first biography to draw on Newton’s unpublished diaries and correspondence, providing fresh insight into the life of this complex and memorable Christian. The result is a fascinating, colorful, and historically significant portrait of John Newton, a self-described “great sinner” redeemed by a great Savior through amazing grace.
“A new life of John Newton is a fitting celebration of the bicentennial both of Newton’s death and of the abolition of the slave trade, Wilberforce’s triumph in which Newton played a key role. Master biographer Jonathan Aitken is in fine form, sympathetic, insightful, scholarly, and vivid, and his book, like its subject, must be rated spectacular.”
J. I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent College
“A riveting historical account of the life of this notorious eighteenth-century sinner who was dramatically saved by God’s grace. This book should be required reading for any person who loves history, loves the song, and is serious about following Christ.”
The Honorable Jack Kemp, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; former U.S. Congressman

“A rip-roaring adventure, a passionate romance, and an astonishing journey of faith all in one. I knew the story well, but this telling made a deep impression on me.”Os Guinness, author of The Call “Jonathan Aitken has written such an intimate account of one of the great saints of God that I can now say I have been mentored by John Newton!”
Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland, A Church Distributed, Longwood, Florida

“Jonathan Aitken’s fast-paced, well-researched, and detailed book shows why Newton was such an important figure. This is a book to read, ponder, and read again.”
Mark Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

“A fresh, insightful, and inspiring account of this great figure. With that rare skill of a superb biographer, Aitken brings Newton to life for a new generation of admirers.”
Alister McGrath, Professor of Historical Theology, Oxford University

“In careful and colorful detail, Aitken resurrects this nearly forgotten giant of the faith and establishes Newton in his rightful place as one who has altered the course of western history.”
Robert Lupton, President, FCS Urban Ministries, Atlanta

“Skilled biographer that he is, my friend Jonathan Aitken has brought to life one of eighteenth-century England’s most influential Christians. The story of amazing grace both in the life of Newton and in the song that has become the Christian national anthem.”
Chuck Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship
“Only God could take a vile slave trader and turn him into a useful instrument in abolishing the slave trade and igniting a gospel revival, the flames of which are burning still. The story of Newton’s life inspires all who seek to follow the path of Jesus today.”
Timothy George, Dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University; Executive Editor, Christianity Today

“John Newton not only wrote one of the greatest hymns of all time—he lived one of the greatest stories of salvation.”
Rodney Stark, Author of The Rise of Christianity
“Even more amazing than Newton’s life with all its drama and color is the reminder of how completely revolutionary is God’s agenda to change the world his own way and through imperfect, broken people. Newton is just another entry to God’s long resumé of his amazing grace in changed lives.”
James MacDonald, Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, Illinois
“An informed, authoritative biography of the man who played a critical role in helping William Wilberforce abolish the slave trade. His life story is absolutely spell-binding. I could not put the book down.”
Armand M. Nicholi Jr., M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; author of The Question of God

“Jonathan Aitken has written a book that, enriched by fresh research into unpublished papers, will enhance his reputation as one of today’s foremost biographers.”

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace

Ushering in the New Year

One of my favorite hymns is Amazing Grace. It’s author is John Newton ( 1725-1807). Last Thursday, December 27, 2007, I purchased a book by author, Jonathan Aitken, called, John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace. Last night, on New Year’s Eve, I thought I would read a chapter or two. However, I didn’t end up putting it down until chapter thirteen. I know you shouldn’t judge a book before you have read the whole thing, but this book is a great read so far. I’ll let you know my final thoughts as soon as I finish.