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Fear of God Devotional: Forsaking the Traditions of Man

 

How have the traditions of man affected the Church?

Dennis Gunderson explains in this video that one of the primary results of the Protestant Reformation was the forsaking of many traditions that been encrusted onto the Church by the Roman Catholic Church. During the Reformation, many of those traditions were cast off and replaced with sound, biblical thinking.

Although the Reformation took place 500 years ago, we need to continue to be faithful to not let the traditions of man infect our worship, doctrine, and evangelism. Today, there are still so many different areas where the traditions of man have replaced Scripture and continue to do so.

Colossians 2:8 (NKJV) – “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

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Fear of God Devotional: There is No Gospel Without Repentance

 

What was at the heart of the Reformation?

Rob Ventura explains in this video that there is no Gospel without repentance. The Gospel that Christ and His disciples preached always began with a call for men and women to repent for their sins and to believe on Christ alone for life and salvation.

Similarly, repentance was also at the heart of the Reformation because at the heart of the Reformation is the glorious Gospel of Christ. The Gospel remains unchanged throughout time. Repentance is always necessary for people to be saved.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) – “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

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3 Reasons to Register Your Church on the NCFIC Network

My hope is that every Biblically-ordered, Christ-exalting, family-integrated church will register themselves on our network. Why? When you register your church on the NCFIC network, people will most likely come to your church to check it out. When that happens, one of three things will take place. They will either be: saved, driven away, or enfolded. 

1. They will be saved

They will come and hear the true Gospel. Hopefully they will be convicted in their unconverted state, and turn to Christ. In our church, we have had some of the nicest, well-washed, homeschooler, family-integrated families come to our church and be saved. They looked so good on the outside, but were dead on the inside.  They didn’t even realize it when they came. They realized they were never saved in the first place.  They are like millions of evangelicals today. There is a vast ocean of the unconverted who are in churches today. This has happened as a result of false gospels and a revivalistic evangelistic technique that reduces salvation to praying a prayer, walking an aisle, or embracing principles. After hearing the preaching and relating to true believers, they realize that they were only involved in a lifestyle.

2. They will be driven away

There are many nomads in conservative Christianity. Some of them have never loved the church, its ordinances, its gatherings, and the authority it brings into their lives. the just like to hang on the periphery of true Christianity. This is mostly because they are unconverted. I am not speaking of people who leave a church for legitimate reasons. I am referring to people who cannot tolerate normal biblically ordered church life with it’s commitments, relationships, authority, discipline, and rhythms that characterize a true church. It is too constraining for them. But, when they come to your church, they will hear the preaching and they will begin to see what it means to be a true church. They will receive the counsels of the elders of the church, and they will see that they really don’t like the church all that much. Eventually, they will leave. They will most likely depart and find another church where they can hang on the periphery. They may love their new church because they can remain anonymous. And, because they don’t want anything to pinch their style they will most likely leave. There are many who need to be driven away in order to show who they really are – not part of the Church of Jesus Christ.

3. They will be enfolded.

Some of these people will come to your church and rise up to be blessed members. They are true Christians and they need to be part of a church. They need to learn how to be totally enfolded into the life of a local church. They need to make the church the center of all of their lives. As they will grow there will most likely be transitions in their thinking. They are being sanctified. They need your church. It will change their lives. Plus, you need them as well. Their prayers, gifts, and service will become part of the discipleship journey of your whole church. Ephesians 4:11-16 declares the beauty of this: 

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ–from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: What Was The Heart Of The Protestant Reformation?

 

What was the heart of the Reformation?

Carlton McLeod explains in this video that he believes the heart of the Reformation was Sola Scriptura, “by Scripture alone.” The Church, through the Middle Ages, had walked away from the understanding that Scripture governed all of life. Traditions and customs of man superseded clear commands of Scripture.

During the Reformation, the Reformers directly opposed this idea by declaring that there is no way to please God by various man-made rituals. Accordingly, many of the doctrines that sprung from the Protestant Reformation came from the careful study of Scripture.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV) – “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”

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Europes Childless Leaders Sleepwalking Us to Disaster

Giulio Meotti has written an insightful piece about a terrifying reality related to the global movement away from child bearing. Here is the issue: “there have never been so many childless politicians leading Europe as today.”  His concern is this, “As Europe’s leaders have no children, they seem to have no reason to worry about the future of the continent.” He quotes Douglas Murray of, The Times, “Europe today has little desire to reproduce itself, fight for itself or even take its own side in an argument”.  He cites Joshua Mitchell who relates the problem to narcissism.”'Finding ourselves' becomes more important than building a world.” The author notes the different opinion of Muslims in the region who are dedicated to having many children. They will prevail… 

As we consider the wisdom from heaven, “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28), let us be vigilant to proclaim that God Himself has called for His people to have children and “bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” This is something we must not lose sight of in a land where fruitfulness and multiplication is often sneered at – sometimes even in Christian circles.

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Fear of God Devotional: The Genesis 3 Attack

 

What is one of the primary attacks on Scripture today?

Ken Ham explains in this video that just as Satan tempted Eve by saying, “Did God really say that?” the Church should expect similar attacks today. The words of God have consistently been under attack since Genesis. Throughout history, when God’s Word comes under attack, God raises people to bring them back to the authority of God. The Reformation is one example of this.

Today, the teaching of evolution is one way that God’s Word has been attacked. An acceptance of evolution causes doubt of whether we can trust what God’s Word says. Ultimately, this teaches our children that we don’t have to start with God’s Word and that man’s ideas and beliefs can reinterpret Scripture. Of course, this creates doubt as whether God really created male and female from the beginning or whether there was a worldwide flood to punish sin, for instance.

Psalm 119:89 (NKJV) – “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.”

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Suffering Brings Us Closer to the Man of Sorrows

Robert Murray M'Cheyne received a letter from a friend during a time of suffering explaining how sorrows bring us closer to the man of sorrows…

“There is a great want [lack] about all Christians who have not suffered. Some flowers must be broken or bruised before they emit any fragrance. All the wounds of Christ send out sweetness- all the sorrows of Christians do the same. Commend me to a bruised brother, a broken reed- one like the Son of Man. The Man of Sorrows is never far from him. To me there is something sacred and sweet in all suffering; it is so much akin to the Man of Sorrows.” 

Robert Murray M'Cheyne by Andrew Bonar, Banner of Truth 2012, page 220

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Fear of God Devotional: Christ Alone By Grace Alone

 

What was the heart of the Reformation?

Don Hart explains that the heart of the Reformation encompassed all of the Solas. But faith in Christ and salvation by the grace of God alone was perhaps the “hinge” of the Reformation as Martin Luther once noted.

The Gospel explains how a sovereign, loving God redeemed a lost, rebelling people  by no merit of our own. Yet, God did that which is utter foolishness to a fallen world: the Creator died for the creature. Christ humbled Himself, He lived a perfect, sinless life. He obediently went to the cross. He took the full judgment that we deserved – the wrath of God. And it is only by faith in Christ, by the grace of God, that the Reformation even took place.

John 11:25 (NKJV) – “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.'”

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Three Reasons Young People Leave the Church

Here is a good article by Midwestern Seminary President Jason Allen. His first reason I believe is the most common…

Many Young Adults Leave the Church because They Never Joined it Spiritually

Many young adults leave the church because they were never truly converted to Christ in the first place. John the Apostle warned us “They went out from us because they were never of us; for if they had been of us, they would have no doubt continued with us.”[4] And in his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus soberly warns, “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my father in heaven.”[5]

In fact, this is a troubling, but recurring, theme throughout the New Testament. Jesus frequently warned of pseudo converts, most memorably in his parables of the four soils, the wheat and the tares, and the sheep and the goats. This grievous occurrence is why Paul exhorted the Corinthian church to “examine yourselves to determine whether you be in the faith.”[6]

This predicament is as old as the church itself, and it is no respecter of age. Young adults have not cornered the market on unregenerate church membership, but with so many other pressures and opportunities associated with their life stage, their exit ramp is more predictable and more pronounced. In other words, young adults are just one bloated demographic slice of an ever-present challenge within the church today: unregenerate church membership.

 

The other two reasons are:

  • Many Young Adults Leave the Church because They Never Experienced it Corporately 
  • Many Young Adults Leave the Church because They Never Came to Love it Personally 

You can read the explanations of these two reasons by clicking here:
http://ift.tt/2pW7vJ8

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Fear of God Devotional: What Keeps Us From Repenting?



What keeps us from repentance?

Gary Powers explains in this video that our flesh hates Christ and attempts to detract from Christ and His Glory. The world hates Him. The devil hates Him. Accordingly, we as sinful beings must repent of our sin and turn from it. We must humble ourselves and pray and seek after God.

We must put to death the sin that entangles us. John Owen exhorted his readers in the Mortification of Sin in Believers that they ought to “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” We cannot take sin lightly. Are there areas in your life where you have compromised with sin and have not repented of it?

Ezekiel 18:21-23 (NKJV) – “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?”

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Fear of God Devotional: The Importance of Faith



What is one of the primary doctrines of the Reformation?

Sam Waldron explains in this video that to identify the primary doctrine of the Reformation, we must begin by looking at the Five Solas. Out of those five, perhaps the cardinal doctrine of the Reformation is “sola fide” or “faith alone” for justification.

Without faith, we cannot please God. Without faith, we cannot be saved. We cannot earn salvation or good standing with God. We are only justified by faith through Jesus Christ. Salvation is a gift – it is something that no one can boast in. 

Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) – “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: Repentance And Faith



Does repentance continue to be an ongoing act in the life of a Christian after conversion?

Jeff Pollard explains in this video that repentance is an ongoing act in the Christian life. At regeneration, when an elect sinner tastes the glorious grace of God in Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God moves upon his heart, breathing life into his soul, two things arise: 

First, repentance. There is a change of mind leads to a change of action. Second, faith. Repentance and faith together are conversion. Conversion is a turning of life. We repent and turn in another direction. But, because we still have a sinful flesh, repentance simply becomes a way of life for the believer. It is a continual act in the life of every regenerate soul. 

Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV) – “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

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The Stupid, Idiotic, Unproductive, Barbarous Life of a Keeper at Home

Im extremely grateful for the army of mothers who are dedicating their years to the role of wife and mother… as keepers at home. They have thrown off the chains. They are defying the culture as it hurtles to self destruction. But, if you want a small window into some of the modern roots of diminishing motherhood, look no further than the Communist regimes… Hear Vladimir Lenin on motherhood, who believed that the role of a “keeper at home” (Titus 2:5) is “stupid,” “Idiotic,” “unproductive,” “barbarous,” “slavery.” 

“We must now say proudly and without any exaggeration that part from Soviet Russia, there is not a country in the world where women enjoy full equality and where women are not placed in the humiliating position felt particularly in day-to-day family life. This is one of our first and most important tasks…Housework is the most unproductive, the most barbarous and the most arduous work a woman can do. It is exceptionally petty and does not include anything that would in any way promote the development of the woman…The building of socialism will begin only when we have achieved the complete equality of women and when we undertake the new work together with women who have been emancipated from that petty stultifying, unproductive work…We are setting up model institutions, dining-rooms and nurseries, that will emancipate women from housework…These institutions that liberate women from their position as household slaves are springing up where it is in any way possible…Our task is to make politics available to every working woman.” 1

“The chief thing is to get women to take part in socially productive labor, to liberate them from ‘domestic slavery,’ to free them from their stupefying [idiotic] and humiliating subjugation to the eternal drudgery of the kitchen and the nursery. This struggle will be a long one, and it demands a radical reconstruction, both of social technique and of morale. But it will end in the complete triumph of Communism.” 2

Thankfully, the Lord has raised up a new generation of mothers who have prioritized the home over the cubicle. May their tribe increase.

 

1. Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 30, p. 4
2. Vladimir, Lenin. “International Working Women’s Day speech”, 1920

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Fear of God Devotional: One of the Most Beneficial Effects of the Reformation


What was one of the most beneficial effects of the Reformation?

Paul Carrington explains in this video that one of the most beneficial effects of the Reformation was that individuals were confronted with the idea of the sufficiency of Scripture. By being exposed to what God commanded in Scripture, the Reformers were forced to decide what to do if Scripture and  and whether Scripture ought to be the sole authority on matters of life.

Martin Luther and John Calvin were men who stood up for the truth of God and saw it as authority. Furthermore, Scripture was translated into the speech of common people. More and more people were able to read, understand, and ultimately obey the commands of Scripture.

Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV) – “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Authority a Driving Force Behind the Reformation

What was one driving force behind the Reformation?

Joel Beeke explains in this video that the Protestant Reformation began as part of Martin Luther’s opposition towards the selling of indulgences to allegedly “release” souls from purgatory.

This abuse from the Roman Catholic Church contributed to one of the driving forces behind the Reformation — the issue of authority. Who is in charge of our lives? Is Scripture sufficient for everything or is the pope a second authority source that is of equal value to Scripture? If there is conflict between the two, which do you believe?

The fact that the pope seemingly had equal authority to Scripture forced the early Reformers to confront the issue of the authority of Scripture head-on.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV) – “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”

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