The Quotable Round-Up #26

Hello folks!!! Here are some awesome quotes I want to share this week. May this bring you encouragement to read books and to focus on Christ.

“To possess genuine assurance is to experience a bit of divine bliss this side of heaven. The greater our sense of assurance, the more we can savor that glory in this earthly life.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ

“Christians are called to preach, teach, and believe the whole counsel of God. Any distortion of the character of God poisons the rest of our theology. The ultimate form of idolatry is humanism, which regards man as the measure of all things. Man is the primary concern, the central focus, the dominant motif of all forms of humanism. Its influence is so strong and pervasive that it seeks to infiltrate Christian theology at every point. Only by a rigorous attention and devotion to the biblical doctrine of God will we be able to keep from tasting and even swallowing this noxious brew.” –R. C. Sproul, What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics

“Because God is infinite in his being and eternal, and we are finite and bound by both space and time, our knowledge of him is never comprehensive. We enjoy an apprehensive knowledge of God, but not a comprehensive knowledge.” –R. C. Sproul, What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics

“Reformed theology is systematic. The science of systematic theology is so called because it attempts to understand doctrine in a coherent and unified manner. It is not the goal of systematic theology to impose on the Bible a system derived from a particular philosophy. Rather its goal is to discern the interrelatedness of the teachings of Scripture itself.” –R. C. Sproul, What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics

“A church without theology or a theology without God are simply not options for the Christian faith. One can have religion without God or theology, but one cannot have Christianity without them.”  –R. C. Sproul, What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics

“The believer who acquiesces in special revelation is now in a posture to respond properly to general revelation. In this regard the Christian should be the most diligent student of both special and natural revelation. Our theology should be informed by both the Bible and nature. The two come from the same revelatory source, God himself. The two revelations do not conflict; they reflect the harmony of God’s self-disclosures.” –R. C. Sproul, What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics

“If we say that the Bible is a product of only human opinion and insight, we can still speak about biblical theology in the sense that the Bible contains human teaching about God, but we can no longer speak about biblical revelation. If God is the ultimate Author of the Bible, we can speak of both biblical revelation and biblical theology. If man is the ultimate author, then we are restricted to speaking about biblical theology or theologies. If that is the case, we could justly regard biblical theology as a subdivision of religion, as one aspect of human studies about God.” –R. C. Sproul, What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics

Book Review: Everyday Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis

This book is a sort of sequel to “Total Church” with the same authors. This is a sort of “the rubber meets the road” kind of book. Picking up this book you’ll dive immediately to the subject. Not that you need to get “Total Church” to understand this (which I haven’t read also) but as you can see this book can be categorized with those “church engaging the culture” books that are already out in the market. Yet this book even if you read similar stuff does have some great insights and some gems in it. This book uses 2 Peter as main text drawing some principles.

The book opens with a discussion of Christians are in the marginalized in society and culture. Along with that are other things to consider as a church reaches out in this culture were tackled in the first chapter. The rest of the chapters carry Chapter 1 to further emphasize the role of the church, the challenge and the response to a culture we once knew. This is a short book but straight to the point, engaging and practical. The book concludes with the challenge for Christians to reach out despite of how the world treats us, live and breathe the gospel every day, reinforce us through Scriptures who we are in the eyes of God and how to live beyond mediocre Christianity.

My verdict 3 out of 5.

Crossway has provided a complimentary copy of this book through the Blog Review Program.

The Quotable Round-Up #25

Here are the freshest quotes for the week featuring John Murray’s book “Redemption: Accomplished and Applied”. Enjoy!

“When Christ is presented to lost men in the proclamation of the gospel, it is as Saviour he is presented, as one who ever continues to be the embodiment of the salvation he has once for all accomplished. It is not the possibility of salvation that is offered to lost men but the Saviour himself and therefore salvation full and perfect. There is no imperfection in the salvation offered and there is no restriction to its overture—it is full, free, and unrestricted.”
— John Murray, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied

“Regeneration is the act of God and of God alone. But faith is not the act of God; it is not God who believes in Christ for salvation, it is the sinner. It is by God’s grace that a person is able to believe but faith is an activity on the part of the person and of him alone. In faith we receive and rest upon Christ alone for salvation.”
— John Murray, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied

“The embrace of Christ in faith is the first evidence of regeneration and only thus may we know that we have been regenerated.”
— John Murray, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied

“No one can say in truth that Jesus is the Christ except by regeneration of the Spirit and that is one of the ways by which the Holy Spirit glorifies Christ.”
— John Murray, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied

“Regeneration is the beginning of all saving grace in us, and all saving grace in exercise on our part proceeds from the fountain of regeneration. We are not born again by faith or repentance or conversion; we repent and believe because we have been regenerated.”
— John Murray, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied

“For unless God by sovereign, operative grace had turned our enmity to love and our disbelief to faith we would never yield the response of faith and love.”
— John Murray, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied

“Regeneration is the beginning of inwardly operative saving grace.”
— John Murray, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied

The Quotable Round-Up #23

Here are the freshest quotes for the week featuring John MacArthur’s book “The Truth About the Lordship of Christ. Enjoy!

“The source of our love is its very object, the One who is the essence of love, whether expressed in consolation or in wrath and judgment.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“The Christian life could be summed up in this one statement: be mimics, or imitators, of God.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“Imitating God may be easy to discuss, but it is difficult to do. You cannot do it in your own strength. But Jesus gave us the starting point for imitating God in the Sermon on the Mount. We need to mourn over our sin with a broken and contrite spirit. When we are overwhelmed by our sinfulness, we will hunger and thirst for righteousness.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“The Bible doesn’t refer to Christian love as an emotion but as an act of self-sacrifice. A person who truly loves someone else doesn’t try to get anything out of that person. That’s because godly love is never conditioned on a response—it is unconditional.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“The world often defines love in terms of what it can get. But God loves even if He never gets anything in return. If that kind of love characterized our marriages, the divorce rate wouldn’t be what it is today.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“Our Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t love us for what He can get out of us; He loves us in spite of the hurt we cause Him. Make unconditional love your goal, and be humble, obedient, and self-sacrificing.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“The world’s love is unforgiving, conditional, and self-centered. It focuses on desire, self-pleasure, and lust—the very opposite of God’s perfect love. People search for love, but it’s not true love; it is Satan’s perversion.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ

Comicbook Review: MA-I Book 1: Si Lakan by Arya Chelabian and Faye Villanueva

Starting this week we will check out a comicbook published by Kawangis Komiks an imprint of Church Strengthening Ministry (CSM). This 5 part series are written and drawn by the dynamic husband and wife tandem of Arya Chelabian and Faye Villanueva. A 5 part book of what they call a Pinoy Manga is something that will First stop is Book 1 of the series is “Si Lakan.”
“Si Lakan” introduces us to the world of MA-I on which the adventures in the series will unfold. Also we will meet our hero of the story, Lakan. Lakan is an adventurous young man who stumbles upon MA-I. His grandfather, Apo Sulatn forbids him to go to MA-I because that place is dangerous. And indeed the next day, going back to MA-I proves the dangers it possess as Lakan and Apo Sulatn got into trouble.
In a few pages this book it already got me hooked! Its action, drama and humor sucked me into reading till the end. It’s a fast phase read for me but the way the story reveals its self amazed me. The adventure story presented in this book is a staple in anime or manga (yet we don’t get tired of that kind of story, right?) The artwork has its high and lows but then again how it blends with the story as it unfolds in every panel is impressive. The tandem of Arya and Faye is awesome. They can really convey the demands of every panel. If you’re a bit conscious on the Pinoy culture thing in this comicbook, don’t worry. You can pick up that stuff along the way as you read it. In fact you can skip the explanations and just dive in to the story. The spiritual stuff is OK but I expect more in the succeeding books.
As an opening salvo of the series, “Si Lakan” delivers the action, the humor and the culture that will hook and entertain you. A good read whether you’re a traditional komiks or manga fan.

5 Uncomfortable Situations That You Can Still Find God (Part 1)

Where has life lead you today? Are you walking in places that you feel that God is not there? We have all been there. We all know the heartaches it brings. It feels like God has abandoned us. The truth is God is there and doesn’t mind to be there for us. God is not always in place we are happy. He is also there in those times that we feel that He is not there to help us. As we read our passage for this lesson we can see that Jerusalem is besieged by the Babylonians. Some of them were carried to Babylon and some are left in the midst of the ruins. Judgment befalls the people of God because of their constant rebellion to God. But still in the midst of God’s righteous anger, He still extents His goodness to remnants as they seek for Him. These remnants came to the prophet Jeremiah to inquire for God. Let us look at our passage then go to our first point:
Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least even unto the greatest, came near,
And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the LORD thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:)—Jeremiah 42: 1-2

1.) When people around you are few
“pray for us unto the LORD thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:)”—Jeremiah 42: 2
I can easily relate with this because of our small church. As our church goes to challenges that really shook us, we are few in numbers. Sometimes we get discourage of our number that we tend to look at how big churches do. We long for that quantity of members and also the quality of the leaders. We desire and pray of kind of ministry that is growing. Frustrations set in when some of our members left our already small church. For me this is one difficult time that really pulls our strength.
But this verse tells us that God is willing to meet these rebellious remnants (see verse 9). If God is reaching out for the welfare of these stubborn people, how much more to us that didn’t jump over board. Despite on what situation we are on whether it’s a small church, a minority in our place, or a leader with a handful of loyal follower God is willing to meet us there in that circumstances. Do we feel small, insignificant and unworthy because we keep seeing the stats and not God? Remember the people in the ark, Gideon’s army and the people at the foot of Christ’s cross. Remember this group of remnants. Remember God is there and willing to deal with us.
(To be continued next week…)

7 Things We Miss Out If We Reject the Gospel (Part 4)

Before we go to the last point on our list, I would like to thank you for giving your time to read this article for the pass weeks. I hope and pray that you have been edified with the topic. If you haven’t accepted Christ as Lord and personal Savior, prayer goes out with you. If you have questions please free to ask me by posting it on the comment section or just simple sending a personal message. I will try to answer your questions. And now for #7 which is no surprise if we neglect the gospel. Heaven is last on the list because I want to show you that what you gain with salvation is not just heaven.
7. Heaven
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Philippians 3: 19-20

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. in my father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, i would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. and if i go and prepare a place for you, i will come again, And receive you unto myself; that where i am, there ye may be also” John 14: 2-3 (KJV)
Heaven is not a reward. Reward has to be worked out. Jesus already did it for us. The promise of heaven is included with the gift of salvation. It is based upon the grace of God. Rejecting the gospel forfeits us for receiving heaven. The soul has two destinations. Its either Heaven or Hell. And what you do with the gospel will determine where you will spend eternity. Will you accept the gospel today?

Book Review: “The DNA of Relationships” by Gary Smalley

Dr. Smalley has been writing for decades now about relationship (a trip to Book Sale or any 2nd hand bookstore will affirm that) which it is a no surprise that he would release another one on that subject. You might think what else he could write about or this might contain the usual advice he gives in his previous books. Nevertheless, it’s a good thing that we have some tools that are up to date and can be use to improve our relationship.
In “The DNA of Relationships” Team Smalley delivers well crafted research on relationship that is distilled in this short book. We must remember that life is relationships. We build relationships and we are wired for relationships. Relationship does have a share of the good, the bad and the ugly. Every struggle will eventually hurt people and dishonors God. “The DNA of Relationships” brings upfront “self care” that is not centered with us but exalts God and uplifts others in the process. Self care according to the book is revolutionary and can be attained by having a healthy communication, finding a win-win solution and changing one’s self.
Some advice here are common but you can still find nuggets of wisdom in this book. This book is a good tool to aid us in fixing our relationships.

7 Things We Miss Out If We Reject the Gospel (Part 3)

This week’s installment of our lesson, we will take a look at “Heavenly Rewards” and “Victory”. We should expect these things because it is given to us by God. On behalf of Christ, He imparts these to us so that we will give our best for Him. Check the Bible verses and meditate on it. We can clearly see the goodness of our heavenly Father that will make us cling for Him daily. If you are not yet saved, think of these things and pray that God will give you faith to accept His gospel.
5. Heavenly Rewards

“And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”1 Peter 5:4

“Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

“Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10

Out of gratitude of His glorious gospel that saved us and also because God sets us in good works (Ephesians 2:10) after He grants us salvation, in heaven we will receive rewards because of our works for Christ. Our service to Him will be finally recognized and given rewards. We will face Christ not at Him juridical bench but an awarding ceremony for the works we did for Him. Will you be there at that event? What rewards will you receive from our gracious God?
6. Victory

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15: 56-58

“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.” 1 John 5: 4

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Romans 8: 37

In this life we always strive for excellence. We do all we can to win in every area in our life. Sometimes we triumph in battles we face. Sometimes we have to surrender. God’s child also goes with this daily struggle. But the good news is that we are victorious through the goodness of God. He might not have that trophy or medal but we have God and His promises that make us a winner. We don’t want to be in the losing side here and in eternity. Come to Christ who won the victory for us.

(to be concluded next week…)

7 Things We Miss Out If We Reject the Gospel (Part 2)

I heard a preacher once said that the word “free gift” in Ephesians 2: 8-9 lost its meaning in our time. We are incline to pay or work to get what we want. That’s how the real world works. Receiving something free is beyond how we are wired. Also when pride sets in our heart it wouldn’t allow us to accept the gospel. Unless God makes the initiative, salvation won’t be possible. Will you accept the gospel today? Now let’s go on with #3 and #4 of our list of things we miss out if we don’t turn to the gospel:
3. Truth

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

“even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14: 17

Everyone doesn’t want to dwell in falsehood. We want to be in the good or right side. Even if culture suppresses having the concept of truth, there is truth. We don’t want to deceive or be deceived. We want to know if what we believe is the truth. Truth being subjective is a farce. There is objective truth. Jesus invites us to come to Him if we want to know the truth. Rejecting the gospel is rejecting the truth. What is left when we reject the truth is, by default, we accept falsehood.

4. Adoption

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
Romans 8:15-17

“to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4: 5-7

“he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,” Ephesians 1:5

There is a song that became the theme of Pope Francis visit here in the Philippines. The message of it is that “we are God’s children”. But biblically that is not true. Not all are God’s children. We are all made in the image of God but according to John 1: 12” But to all who did receive him (Jesus), who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,”. There’s a difference between an image bearer to a legitimate son. Our physical birth enables us to be bearers of His image, being born again grants us to be God’s children. Believing in Jesus is our ticket to become sons of God. That is the very core of the gospel. Immediately, when we receive the gospel, we became God’s children. Rejecting this truth will keep us on bondage with sin and Satan. Salvation is not just rescuing us from our sin but giving us a new identity. Salvation will not just take us to heaven but most importantly it gives us rights on why we are to be there with God. Are you a child of God?

(to be continued next week…)