A Great Awakening



They were a remnant cut down… but not destroyed. After seventy years in Babylon, the Lord enlivens them to return to the land. It is a work of grace. It is an exodus. There are three exoduses in the Bible: From Egypt to the promised land in 1445bc; From Babylon to Judah, 538bc; From the world to the kingdom of God – because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This second exodus recorded in Ezra chapter 2 displays various marks of revival the happened during this second exodus… There are three marks here: God awakens, God Provides and God employs many kinds of people. This exodus was dramatic: 50,000 people are moving across the desert for four months. Why? God is looking for worshippers who will return to His ways of worship. God desires to be worshiped and adored and praise. In this passage is a record of specific people – 50,000 of them who have it in their hearts to sacrifice the opulence of Babylon to trade it, and travel a broken down city in order to establish the worship God.

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Fear of God Devotional: “Sola Scriptura” and the Roman Catholic Church



What was the effect of sola Scriptura upon the Roman Catholic Church?

Sam Waldron explains in this video that the doctrine of sola Scriptura was first emphasized during the Reformation. There was a clear division between the Roman Catholic Church and sola Scriptura. The Roman Catholic Church denied the doctrine of sola Scriptura and instead, wanted to base their doctrine on both Scripture and their long-held traditions.

John Calvin stated that Scripture alone was the foundation for the life and ministry of the Church itself. The doctrine of sola Scriptura was foundational then for reformation within the Church and it still ought to be just as relevant and foundational today.

Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV) – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Semper Reformanda: “Always Reforming”



Is there ever a point in our lives where we outgrow our need for sanctification?

Carlton McLeod explains in this video that as Christians, we are not perfect and we never will be. Even when we think that we are at a good spot and “have it all together,” we should always be reforming and we must remain teachable. We must realize there are degrees of knowledge that we have not attained to. 

We cannot let pride deceive us into thinking that we can somehow reach a point in our life where repentance and sanctification are not needed. We must be people who embrace humility and are willing to take correction and to repent of sin where need be. 

2 Peter 3:17-18 (NKJV) – “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: Is There a Surefire Way to Detect True Repentance?



How do we know whether an individual has truly repented for their sin?

Jeff Pollard explains in this video that distinguishing false repentance from true repentance can be a challenge. Is there one, sure-fire element that makes it clear that repentance is true?

While there may not necessarily be one, sure indicator of repentance, there most often is a subsequent change in the life of a person following repentance. There is an abandonment, a forsaking of sin and a corresponding pressing on in love for Christ to honor Him. That person now has a desire of honoring God and a love for His ways. 

Matthew 3:8 (NKJV) – “ear fruits worthy of repentance.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: The Prevailing Religion of the Day



What is the prevailing “religion” of the day?

Paul Carrington explains in this video that the prevailing religion of the day is moralism – that somehow, you can make yourself acceptable to God. Or, if you don’t believe in God, that you can live a “good life.” You have a high opinion of yourself and somehow, that makes you “acceptable” before God. 

In short, people often think of themselves more highly than they ought. They think that because their “good” outweighs their “bad,” they deserve salvation. However, what they fail to realize is that they are completely full of sin and there is no act or omission that can ever merit salvation. 

Galatians 6:3 (NKJV) – “For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” 

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Christianity Is a Life Centered Around a Person

Archibald Brown in his book, The Face of Jesus Christ, speaks of the heart of what it means to be a Christian. The heart of the matter is not getting your act together or adopting new principles or lifestyles or theologies… although it will always include these things… But the heart of genuine Christianity is stated here:

Christianity is all centered around a person. Conversion is not a mere change of human opinion; it is the devotion of heart to a person. A converted man is not a man who just changes his views concerning certain facts, or theories, or doctrines, but he is a man whose heart has become devoted to a living Christ. ‘He is altogether lovely.’ It is ‘he’. Oh, may God take the impersonal pronoun out of our religion! All your religion, if it is worth anything, will just be centered in a living, personal Jesus. Your doctrines will all come from him – your motives will all be found in him, your joys in him, your acceptance in him, your completeness in him.

 

Brown, Archibald G. The Face of Jesus Christ: sermons on the person and work of our Lord. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2012. Print.

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Fear of God Devotional: What’s Different Between Our Times and the Protestant Reformation?



What is a distinction between the Reformation and the world we live in today?

Kevin Swanson explains in this video that one distinction is that we have a much easier access to the Word of God. They did not have it available in the common tongue, in their churches, or in their homes. Though we each have access to Scripture, many have decided to take human systems and place them on top of the Word so that Scripture cannot speak for itself. In short, we have de-emphasized the relevancy of Scripture. 

Today, man commonly brings in his own thinking, emotional experiences, and considerations to dictate the applicability of Scripture. But, the entire Word of God, including the Old Testament, still applies to us today. We must apply the entire Word to all of life, not just parts of Scripture, but all of it.  

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV) – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

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Christ is most precious, when you..

You never knew what Jesus Christ really was worth until the clouds came over your head. You had often, perhaps, heard about, and talked about, the sympathy of Jesus. But, oh dear, what an unreal thing it was until you had nothing else to fall back on! You never know what the preciousness of Christ really was worth until you saw one treasure after another melting away before your eyes. You began to wonder where the tale would end, and yet you found that after everything else had disappeared, he stood by your side the same as ever. Why, widow, did you not find Jesus Christ precious beyond all previous experience when he came to you that morning as, with blinding tears, you hung over the coffin, and took you gently by the hand and said, ‘I will never leave thee.’ Did you not get a new view of Christ then? Did not your tears serve as a prism through which the light of his countenance came more wonderfully into your soul than ever?

 

Brown, Archibald G. The face of Jesus Christ: sermons on the person and work of our Lord. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2012. Print.

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Fear of God Devotional: The Offense of Reformation Without Repentance



Is it possible to have true reformation in our lives and within our churches without repentance?

Anthony Mathenia explains in this video that true, biblical reformation cannot happen apart from repentance. Trying to change our own lives through our own strength will not work. We cannot fight sin in our lives without God.  

To bring about lasting, biblical reformation, we need people to come into contact with God and realize that their sin is an offense. They must turn from their sin and follow Christ. It is only then that there can be salvation and a continous reformation of the way we live. 

Acts 3:19 (NKJV) – “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” 

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Fatherhood Meetings in Montgomery July 21-22

This friday evening a small group of church, community and civil leaders will be gathering to consider the recovery of Biblical fatherhood. This is a critical topic for the health of church and family.

Location: Hilton Garden Inn, Eastchase Parkway, Montgomery, AL 36117

5:30   Meet and Greet
6:00   Meal Time – Welcome and Introduction of Guest
7:00   Program Begins

Scott Brown – NCFIC
Rev. William Owens – CAAP
Clarence Simmons – Chapel Library
William Green – Montgomery City Council
Chief Justice Roy Moore – Candidate for U.S Senate

8:15   Keynote Speaker

Carlton McLeod – CRCC and D6 Reformation
http://ift.tt/2u5vKtK

Saturday, July 22

Location: Young Meadows Presbyterian Church Montgomery, AL 36116
Start time: 8:00am
End time: 3:00pm

Carlton McLeod – Recovering Biblical Fatherhood
Rev. Owens – How the Welfare System Destroys the Family (Fatherhood)
Scott Brown – Father as the Protector of the Family
Clarence Simmons – Fatherhood and the Gospel
Jason Dohm – The Role of Marriage in Fatherhood
Paul Carrington – Father as the Spiritual Leader of the Family (Priest)

***RSVP to Tom Ford before July 21, 2017, by emailing tford@ncfic.org or calling (334)220-9550***

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Stirred up to Build the House of the Lord

In Ezra 1:1-5, we begin a story of hope in the midst of ruin. It is the beginning of a 117 year story of how God restores sinners – He brings them out of Babylon into his own house nurture and care. Everything that ever happened in history is for the purpose of telling the story of the rescue of a bride to bring her into a house. This is why God stirs up hearts to build the household of the Lord in Ezra. Here is how Ezra 1:1-5 flows:

I. The word of God is fulfilled, v1a

II. The Lord stirred up the spirit of a king, v1b

III. The Lord commanded Cyrus to issue a decree, v1c

IV. The Lord moves the spirits of the heads of fathers houses to rise up, v5

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Fear of God Devotional: Why Do Churches Often Ignore Necessary Reforms?



Why do churches often ignore necessary reforms?

Gary Powers explains in this video that it is sometimes difficult for churches to enact biblical reforms because of the way church government is structured. For instance, there is often a church board and senior pastors instead of a biblical eldership. There are many man-made ideas in church government that will sometimes override what Scripture commands regarding a certain subject.

Because of these structures within the church, men can be consequently afraid to preach the truth and make changes because they fear they will lose their jobs. Oftentimes, it is the fear of men that prevents us from doing what Scripture commands. Yet, we are called to fear God and obey and delight in His commandments. 

Psalm 112:1 (NKJV) – “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments.”

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Fear of God Devotional: What Was the Impact of the Reformation?



What was the impact of the Reformation?

Rob Ventura explains in this video that when we think of the result of the Reformation, the centrality of the Word of God and of preaching come to mind. A high view of Scripture, of the Gospel, of God, and of worship were just several glorious results that came out of the Reformation. 

God’s Word is perfect and it is true. Nothing else can compare to it. The Reformation was so beneficial because it helped to correct the false belief of the day that man’s traditions and ideas are superior to what God says in His Word. 

Psalm 25:4-5 (NKJV) – “Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: A Story Of Repentance And A Broken Marriage



How can repentance salvation transform and heal a once-broken marriage?

Jason Dohm shares in this video a story of how salvation transformed an unsaved man that he knew and ultimately brought about a healing of a broken marriage. After his friend was born again, he spent a significant time among a Christian family. In time, he began to desire to be married again to his former, divorced wife.  

He called her and realized that she had been praying that he would have a turn of heart and come back. He and his wife were soon remarried. They now have had multiple children together. All this resulted from him encountering Christ and repenting. 

Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV) – ” I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Justification: A Driving Force Behind the Reformation



What was a driving force behind the Reformation?

Joel Beeke explains in this video that one major driving force behind the Reformation was the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Once Luther, Calvin, and the other Reformers grasped hold of the doctrine of justification by faith alone, the Roman Catholic Church’s false teachings were exposed. A person’s supposed “good works” could never save a sinner. 

The Reformation soon became known as a reformation of grace alone – that grace alone saves us. While we are sanctified and cooperate with the Spirit in our sanctification, there is never any credit due to us or anything we that must do to “earn” our salvation. We are saved by God’s grace alone.  

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

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