Archive for April, 2008


Tim Challies is holding another time of Reading Classics Together. I thought I would join in. The last time He did this I did not know about it. You can still join in. We were supposed to read the forwards and the introduction by Thursday April 24. I missed the date and just read the intro tonight. This is actually my response to the reading. You can check out the this time of Reading Classics Together here

I liked reading the Introduction to Arthur Pink’s The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross.

SUMMARY
The introduction was about the Features of Christ’s Death. The four sections were that Jesus death was Natural, Unnatural, Preternatural, and Supernatural. While reading, I kept having to refer to a dictionary because He, Pink, uses a great vocabulary. Some of the words I did not know.

The fact that Jesus death was natural was that He was a human and that it was a real death. Jesus actually died, unlike what a lot of people like to say, that He really didn’t die. He actually died. He had to die or He didn’t pay for the sins of the people who believe in Him, which means we are still condemned if He didn’t die. Jesus death was unnatural. Why? Because He was sinless. Death is the result or consequence of sin and Jesus had none. Jesus death was preternatural. His death was planned before the foundation of the world. He was slain before the foundation of the world. Pink uses seven points to show how His death was supernatural.

DISCUSSION
The thing though is that Pink has a great vocabulary. I had to look in the dictionary for some of the words he used so I could understand what he was saying. I liked Pink’s discussion on the references to Christ’s death but the one that was most interesting to me was the fact that the death was supernatural. He stated that Jesus had complete control over His death. He was in control of His moment of death, just like Jesus said He was. He said He could lay down His life and take it up again. I don’t want to go through all seven points Pink uses to show that His death was supernatural. You’d do better reading the book and contemplating it yourself.

The next time I post about the book it will be about the First Chapter. You can still join in on the reading together. You can order the book on Amazon, Grace Books International, Monergism or the Westminter Seminary Bookstore. Check out Tim Challies original post on His blog.

For His Glory,
Mark

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Testimony

Baptism

I have decided to post my Testimony. This is the one I read at my baptism. The picture is above. It’s me being raised out of the water by Pastor Bob, the Youth Pastor.

I grew up in the church. At age 12, I supposedly made a commitment to Jesus Christ and was baptized.

I later realized that I had not become a Christian at that time because after that I was still loving my sin and hating God. Deep down inside I did not like that God made laws for me to follow. I wanted to do what I wanted to do not what He wanted me to do. I was lying and deceiving people. I was stealing. I was using God’s name in vain. I was dishonoring my parents and hating others. I was not putting Him first in my life. As well, sexual immorality had a huge grip on my life. In July 2006, God took a certain person out of my life and began to deliver me out of sexual immorality as well as my sin in general. I came to realize after that God did this for my good and my gain.

That is when God started working on me, humbling me and showing me that I could not live my life on my own. Previously, I was using God as a means to get what I wanted. He was now convicting me of my sin and bringing me to Himself that I would see Him for who He truly is.

God worked on me and worked on me. He got me thinking about eternal things.

At Resolved, in February 2007, God took me deeper. I found myself thinking about eternal life, sin, salvation, the cost of discipleship, the cost for God to forgive sins and how sinful I was before Him. I agreed in my heart with one of the prayers I heard to have God move in my soul and bring me out of my trespasses and sins. God used that prayer to move me even closer to Him. He had me thinking hard, really hard about my salvation.

The Tuesday after Resolved, God gave me the power to give my life to Him. I found myself thinking, “What if I’m not saved?” “I don’t want God’s wrath. I want God.” So I said to myself, “I need to just give my life over to Christ and put it in His hands.”

Between 7 and 8PM on February 20th, 2007, while I was sorting books at the library where I worked, in my mind I prayed, “Christ, I am yours. Do with me what you wish.” At that point, I gave my life over to God by His power, not my own this time.

Now after I’ve become a Christian, I’m not perfect on my own. I still make mistakes, but God sees me as perfect in Christ because His life and perfection have been given to me. I still sin, but I hate sin and I hate that I do it.

I’ve come to love Christ and treasure Him more dearly. I don’t want to sin against God any more. I want to be baptized because I want to do what He wants me to do. I want to serve Him now. I care about sinners who do not know Jesus. I want them to be able to enjoy God forever for who He is.

I have learned that God is our ultimate joy and I want Him to be that joy in my life more and more. I want to learn more about Christ and God. I want to live for God’s glory.


The 2008 Together for the Gospel Conference audio is being posted as it becomes available.
At the moment, the first two are available for download. Go check it out and listen to them. They are free. I’m looking forward to listen to them when I get the chance. You can download them at here.

You can check out the Together for the Gospel page at http://www.t4g.org/2008/

Enjoy them for the Glory of Christ Jesus!
Mark

Hey Guys.
A lot of my friends are Mormon so this one caught my attention. Tim Challies wrote a book review on his blog on the book Mormonism Explained. Check out the review. Click here to go to the review.

Here is a little preview of his review:

Many Christians seem unsure of how to react to the rise of Mormonism. Mormons are adept at using Christian language and in affirming their love of the Bible and of Jesus Christ. But behind the language and behind the similarities is a whole world of difference. Christians do well to arm themselves with some knowledge of this religion and of those who adhere to it. In his new book Mormonism Explained, Andrew Jackson offers a book that can do just that. A short study and one geared to the popular level, the book, well, it simply explains Mormonism. … Jackson looks at the religion’s origins, its teaching and then spends several chapters teaching about the Mormon concept of salvation. In about 200 pages he gives a ground-level introduction to this religion and shows how it is not consistent with the Christian faith.

Click the title of the Book above to get to the Publisher Page of the Book. From there you can read the description, read the contents, see the back cover and download a PDF of the Introduction and Chapter 1. Enjoy.

I decided I would include the list of Recommended Books that was at the end of the Resolved Conference Booklet from 2007. The next six books were recommended in the booklet. The paragraphs included under the titles were also included in the booklet from the conference.

GOD IS THE GOSPEL By John Piper
“With his inspiring writing style, John Piper calls you to meditate on the gospel and be satisfied with an intimate knowledge of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. As you read this biblical and cross-centered book, Piper will draw your focus to justification, forgiveness, the glory of Christ in evangelism and sanctification, gladness in the gift of God Himself. ‘The glory of Christ is ignored by the synthetic, man-centered message so often shared in evangelism. But the true gospel of God proclaims the death and resurrection of Christ.’ As you read this book, expect to be confronted with the glory of Christ and encouraged to diligently proclaim His message!” (From Page B of the Resolved Conference Booklet 2007)
Review

THE GOSPEL FOR REAL LIFE By Jerry Bridges
“The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not just for initial salvation! God calls us to take up our cross daily and strive for holiness. Achieving this though is not always easy, but instead requires self-examination in all areas of life. Now available with a study guide, this recent and powerful book refuses to avoid the unpopular topic of sin. Instead Bridges will help you understand and implement the power of the gospel so as to enjoy real freedom and continued victory over sin and legalism as you follow Christ!” (From Page B of the Resolved Conference Booklet 2007)
Review

THE GLORY OF CHRIST By John Owen
“To see the glory of Christ is on the greatest privileges that a Christian can enjoy. In his immense essence, the infinite God is invisible to our finite human eyes, and will remain so for eternity. Only ‘in the face of Jesus Christ’ can we see God and be filled with peace and rest. Reading this good will present you with a sense of his uncreated glory, blazing for in Christ, to the intent that you will be satisfied and filled with joy.” (From Page B of the Resolved Conference Booklet 2007)
Review
A second Review




THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE APOSTLES By John MacArthur
“Ever since the days of the apostles, Christian have struggles to define the proper relationship between faith and works. Salvation, according to Paul, is ‘not by works, so that no one can boast.’ But James argues that ‘faith without works is dead.’ In his characteristic, compelling style, MacArthur reconciles these two seemingly divergent threads of biblical truth.” (From Page B of the Resolved Conference Booklet 2007)
Review

LIVING THE CROSS CENTERED LIFE By C.J. Mahaney
“Too many Christians get caught up in the life’s optional extras and then wonder why they are drifting in a sea of difficulty. The simplle reason is that they have lost sight of the core reason for their new life—the cross of Jesus Christ, our mediator. C.J. Mahaney reminds his readers of the importance of the cross and describes how its gospel message provides strength for the present and assurance for the future. Be encouraged to regain your moorings and set sail under the power of a cross-centered life!” (From Page B of the Resolved Conference Booklet 2007)
Review
A second Review

THE CROSS AND CHRISTIAN MINISTRY By D.A. Carson
“Jesus’ work on the cross not only won our redemption but also stands as the test and pattern of all Christian ministry today. This heartwarming exposition will challenge and encourage church leaders and their congregations. What can a first-century view of the cross teach us about Christian leadership? Plenty, says this respected New Testament scholar. In his thorough exposition of 1 Corinthians, Carson explores factionalism, servant-leadership, shaping “world” Christians, and other issues to help you gain a better understanding of what the death of Christ means in ministering to God’s people.” (From Page B of the Resolved Conference Booklet 2007)
Review

What is Resolved?

I haven’t written since Monday. Woah. I’m including this because it’s important to bring up. This was originally published by Rick Holland in the Resolved Conference Booklet of 2007. If it was written before that please correct me. Rick Holland is the Senior Associate Pastor of Grace Community Church, College and Student Ministries Pastor at Grace Community Church as well as the person (a long with a group of people) who is behind the Resolved Conferences.

What is Resolved?

I get asked that question a lot. And with each conference my answer get more definitive, though the foundation goes back more that two centuries.

As a 19-year-old in the mid-1700s, Jonathan Edwards became serious about the direction of his life. Why? He began to understand the nature of God. What he discovered was both delightful and disturbing. The more he investigated the infinite tributaries of God’s nature, the more he unearthed his own sinfulness. From then on the weight of God’s glory became the gravity of his life. He was compelled to respond.

So he sat down with a quill and paper and pulled back the bow of his being. The arrow he shot was the was in the form of 70 resolutions. These were simple statements, conclusions and commitments forged from the contemplating the immensity of God and the trauma of His holiness. All of them began with the same word… “Resolved.”

The Resolved conference is a call for a new generation to live with the same resolve.

Reflecting on the first two conferences is pure and amazing joy. More people came to each othe first two Resolved conference than expected. But more meaningful are the commitments made and sustained from those weekends. Some found saving faith, others dealt with debilitating sin, most sharpened their theology and a few responded to the calling of full-time gospel ministry. God has allowed us to see roots and fruit of His work in Resolved.

This year’s conference offers the trusted teaching from last year’s speakers, including John MacArthur, Steve Lawson, and C. J. Mahaney. And we have a significant addition—John Piper. This is a special for many of us because Dr. Piper has been a major force for introducing Jonathan Edwards to our generation.

The best time to consider the condition of our soul is now. The plea to be resolved about God is urgent. this is what Resolved is about. It is a weekend devoted for searching the soul under the spotlight of penetrating preaching by trusted men of God.

~Rick Holland

Resolved Conferences

So I haven’t written in a few days. It also seems like my pattern is to write on Mondays and Wednesday. So be it. That is my free time. This time I’m writing from home about Resolved.

Resolved is a conference hosted by the Church of John MacArthur, Grace Community Church. For the last three years (2005, 2006, 2007) Resolved has been centered around the Gospel. The Gospel has been it’s main theme.

Resolved got it’s name based on the 70 resolutions Jonathan Edwards wrote to keep his life aligned. He would read these resolutions at the end of every week, month and year. They are awesome resolutions. (You can read them here.) The conference, even though it got it’s name by Jonathan Edwards does not focus on Jonathan Edwards very much. In 2007, when I went, He got about 20 minutes of the first night if even that and the rest of the time the focus was on the God of Edwards, Jesus Christ. When I say the rest of the time, I mean the rest of the conference. He got the first 20 minutes or so of the first session and there were 10 sessions in total (including the panel discussion). 1 Friday night, 2 Saturday morning, 2 Saturday night, 2 Sunday morning, 1 Sunday night, and 2 Monday morning. Each session was at least an hour long. pfeww. Some people got saved (I am one of them), people’s theology got sharpened and a whole lot of other stuff.

Well it was a great week end. I’m looking forward to the one coming up in June 2008. If you are reading this and it’s before June 13 2008 sign up.

To get info about Resolved 2008, go to the website.

This is one of the Videos from last year.


There is another one, but you have to download it from the Resolved site. Once you get to the site, click downloads, then videos and it’s the bottom one.

This is the promo video for the 2008 Conference. It looks better on the Resolved site because it is bigger and through quicktime instead of shockwave.

These are the posts by Tim Challies based on the last Resolved Conference:
Resolved Conference (02/16/07)
Resolved Conference (II) (02/17/07)
Resolved Conference (III) (02/17/07)
Resolved Conference (IV) (02/17/07)
Resolved Conference (V) (02/18/07)
Resolved Conference (VI) (02/18/07)
Resolved Conference (VII) (02/19/07)
Resolved Conference (VIII) (02/19/07)
Resolved Conference (IX) (02/19/07)
Resolved Conference (Reflections) (02/20/07)

I really suggest you guys go. I’ll be writing more on it a few more posts. Probably not as long, but with some good information. Last years Conference Booklet has a lot of information on it I plan on including.

Thanks for reading,
Mark

I thought I would write a post to reflect on the Savior and Him on the cross. If I do more of these, I might index them. I plan on it. It just might be a while before I have enough to make one.

I plan on observing our Precious Savior on the Cross tonight through Isaiah.

52:13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; [1]
he shall be high and lifted up,
and shall be exalted.
14 As many were astonished at you—
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the children of mankind

15 so shall he sprinkle [2] many nations;
kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which has not been told them they see,
and that which they have not heard they understand.

53:1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? [3]
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected [4] by men;
a man of sorrows,
[5] and acquainted with [6] grief; [7]
and as one from whom men hide their faces [8]
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
[9]
when his soul makes [10] an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see [11] and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, [12]
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, [13]
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

This was written about 700 years before the Birth of Jesus, Yet you can see His Death.
How horrific it must have been to see. I believe that if the people in America watched this happen to Jesus, they probably would have thrown up. I stand behind this statement.

How precious this is to believers! How beautiful this is to believers! The cross is everything.
Just looking at verse 12 of Chapter 53. He Poured out His soul to DEATH! He bore the sin of many! Yet it was the Will of the Father to crush him for our transgressions (v10).
I plead with you, Remember the Cross, Think about the cross. See what our God and Savior Jesus Christ did for His own.
A Suggested Book:

Footnotes
[1] 52:13 Or shall prosper
[2] 52:15 Or startle
[3] 53:1 Or Who has believed what we have heard?
[4] 53:3 Or forsaken
[5] 53:3 Or pains; also verse 4
[6] 53:3 Or and knowing
[7] 53:3 Or sickness; also verse 4
[8] 53:3 Or as one who hides his face from us
[9] 53:10 Or he has made him sick
[10] 53:10 Or when you make his soul
[11] 53:11 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll he shall see light
[12] 53:12 Or with the great
[13] 53:12 Or with the numerous

New: Young, Restless, Reformed « The Shepherd’s Scrapbook
A Post by Tony Reinke on his blog

In our culture the influences upon young men and women include everything from vocal atheism (God Is Not Great) to influences within the church culture towards postmodern originality (Everything Must Change). Yet the demographic of young Calvinists—those returning to ancient theological roots—is growing. Young men and women are confessing that God is great and the need for all-out change within the church is exaggerated alarmism.

This fascinating growth in Calvinism among young Christians caught the attention of Christianity Today editor Collin Hansen. Hansen invites others to ride “shotgun” as he travels across the country discovering the far reaches of the emerging Calvinism in his new book—Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey With the New Calvinists (Crossway, 2008).

This is one of the most engaging and adventurous books we’ve seen in 2008. Read it to meet the cast of characters behind this rise; read it to discover the far-reaching influences of Calvinism on the lives of young men and women; read it for the excellent and descriptive perception of the author.

Young, Restless, Reformed is a must-read and now available from Crossway.

Sovereign Grace Ministries

Again I get to write. I don’t want to Idolize this blog so that is why I am taking my time to write things besides the fact there are other things I need to do. So again, like I posted the last one, I’m writing this one at school in the library between my two classes.

Well, this is a continuation of the two things that inspired this Blog. The first Ministry was Desiring God. The post can be read below or here. This one is about Sovereign Grace Ministries.

I found out about Sovereign Grace Ministries through the Resolved Conference 2007. C. J. Mahaney, spoke at the conference.

So about Sovereign Grace Ministries. Sovereign Grace Ministries is actually a Church Planting Ministry but they have an emphasis the Cross. C. J. Mahaney doesn’t want us to get used to the Cross but everytime come to it with amazement. C. J. Mahaney wrote a book centered on that, Living the Cross Centered Life.

They have many cross centered materials. That is what lead me really to be cross-centered and helped me come up with the title of my Blog, “Boasting Only in the Cross”. I think I heard that way of saying it from John Piper, but I recalled the phrase after thinking about the cross by the movitation of the cross centered ministry of C. J. Mahaney.

So how did Sovereign Grace Ministries inspire my blog? Well, C. J. Mahaney’s emphasis on the cross if you didn’t figure it out already. I might start seeming repetitive and I’m sorry. Everything with the paragraph ending in the book title was at school, while everything after that was written at 10:44 at night.Sorry about that but while I was working on it, WordPress went down so I ended up having to wait until evening to work on it. Anyway back to the reason of this paragraph. C. J. Mahaney has had an influence on my life about the cross. He has caused me to want to be cross-centered. Why has that happened? Because he has shown me that the cross is the center of everything. All of History points to the cross. Everything in history before the cross lead up to it and everything in history, points to it and the second coming. All of Eternity points to the cross. The second coming points to the cross, in that Jesus is coming to get His own that He purchased at the cross and to Judge those who rejected Him and His death on the Cross and resurrection. In heaven, the saints will be singing about the worthiness of the Lamb that was slain. If you look at the Cross of Jesus, you see the Justice and Love of God. You see the wrath of God over His hatred of Sin. You see the sinfulness of man when you look at the cross. You see my sinfulness. You see the purchasing of Grace, and Mercy, and Adoption, and salvation. The cross is everything. Can you see?

Some of these things C. J. Mahaney taught to me through preaching of the Word. I don’t want to forget about the cross. It wasn’t just about my conversion but everything hangs on that one moment in time when my Savior gave up His Spirit. I want to find Joy in the Cross of my Redeemer, Christ Jesus, the Messiah of the World.

That is how C. J. Mahaney inspired my Blog, but his ministry has a lot of stuff on it. Check out the website. Sovereign Grace Ministries, just like Desiring God, has a resource library that I suggest you check out, an events page, a blog, and worship music, Christ-centered, cross-centered worship music.

Here are a few things to check out at Sovereign Grace Ministries.

So, enough ramblings about the Ministry. I say check Sovereign Grace Ministries out. See if they have resources that will draw you closer to your God, Maker, and Savior Jesus!