The 1st Day of Christmas

My first entry in, The Twelve Days of Christmas, is a sermon by Charles Spurgeon on the subject of Christmas that he preached on December 21, 1856. He based the sermon on the biblical text that reads, “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”—Mark 5:19.

Then Spurgeon explains why he selected this text:

Now, I will just tell you the reason why I selected my text. I thought within myself, there are a large number of young men who always come to hear me preach; they always crowd the aisles of my chapel, and many of them have been converted to God. Now, here is Christmas (more…)

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Christmas Intro: Twelve Days of Christmas Starts Today Here at ScottBrownOnline

Christmas is a controversial subject. Some people hate it as an idolatrous, Roman Catholic, Pagan, Materialistic holiday. Others love it. For each of the next Twelve Days, I am going to post something from what I have collected in my filing cabinet over the years that speak to the issue of Christmas. You will notice that I am not posting simply one single perspetive, because the articles I have collected are not from one single perspective. In fact, they cover a range of opinions on the subject.

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Assurance Is Worth Seeking

Last week, I gave a message on Chapter 18 of the Second London Baptist Confession – On Assurance of Grace and Salvation. During my preparation, I read J.C. Ryle on the subject and felt it was the most helpful and powerful thing I ever read on the subject. You can read the whole thing by clicking on “The Gospel” section on the NCFIC website. This article also appears in J.C. Ryle’s book, Holiness. He writes:

Believe me, believe me, assurance is worth the seeking. You forsake your own mercies when you rest content without it. The things I speak are for your peace. If it is good to be sure in earthly things, how much better is it to be sure in heavenly things! Your salvation is a fixed and certain thing. God knows it. Why should not you seek to know it too? There is nothing unscriptural in this. Paul never saw the book of life, and yet Paul says, “I know and am persuaded.”

Make it then your daily prayer that you may have an increase of faith. According to your faith will be your peace. Cultivate that blessed root more, and sooner or later, by God’s blessing, you may hope to have the flower. You may not perhaps attain to full assurance all at once. It is good sometimes to be kept waiting: we do not value things which we get without trouble. But though it tarry, wait for it. Seek on, and expect to find.

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Tonight We Are Speaking About the Church!

Tonight, we cover the doctrine of the church, Chapter 26, the longest chapter in the Baptist Confession. 

Here is a panorama of the sound doctrine conference. Enjoy!

 Click on the image for a larger size 

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“Preaching in a Graveyard”

Jonny White, during his presentation on Chapter 20 of the Baptist Confession of 1689 – “On the Gospel and the Extent of the Grace Thereof,” told this story of the indispensability of the power of the Holy Spirit to bring life. He spoke of a seminary professor who used to take his students to a grave yard. He would say, “preach….” Here is an audio clip of the story:

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The Glory of God Displayed in Redemption

God chose to glorify Himself by saving man. Today, we began with talks on Christ the mediator. In addition, we covered free will, effectual calling, justification, adoption, and sanctification. The glory and sovereignty of God is evident throughout these doctrines.

Group

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Doctrine that Divides and Defends Against the Gates of Hell

The big theme of the NCFIC this year has been "Sound Doctrine for a Glorious Church." We have just completed 32 video sessions entitled Family Foundations in Sound Doctrine, showing families how they can apply a historic confession of faith, using the Baptist Confession of 1689.

The next phase of this effort to focus on Sound Doctrine for a Glorious Church is to bring leaders together next week to review the doctrine of the confession and to show how the doctrine is being attacked today and how men can defend the church against the attacks. There will be approximately sixty hours of instruction next week.

Our prayer is that through these sessions we will help men become better preservers of the faith, protectors of their families, and defenders of their churches in these times of moral slippage and theological confusion.

I will begin the conference at 8:00am Monday morning with a message entitled, Doctrine that Divides and Defends Against the Gates of Hell.

At this conference, we will do our best to exposit the varicolored, multi-textured elements of Christianity and to show how we might defend them in our generation and the generations to come.

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A.A. Hodge on the Awful Woe of Adding or Subtracting from Scripture

Here A.A. Hodge diagnoses the trap that "dapper preachers" fall into by claiming that "the age has outgrown the doctrine":

Let us reverently remember the awful woe which the Holy Ghost denounces upon him who either “shall add anything unto” or “shall take away” aught from that which God has revealed in the Scriptures. Rev. xxii. 18, 19. It is certainly as impious, and perhaps more foolish, to refuse to see clearly what God has revealed clearly, as it is to attempt to understand in detail great undefined facts which God has seen fit to leave upon the verge of our horizon. We hear of some dapper preachers who claim that the age has outgrown doctrine. They have advanced around the circle to the place from which they started, and hope they are ready again to enter the kingdom of heaven like little children, as far as ignorance is concerned. Let it be remembered that systematic theology has its essence simply in clear thinking and clear speaking on the subject of that religion which is revealed in the Scriptures. A man can outgrow systematic theology, therefore, either by ceasing to be clear-headed, or by ceasing to be religious, and in no other way. I suppose some escape in their haste by both ways at once. – A.A. Hodge, The Atonement, (Memphis, TN: Footstool Pub., 1987), 22.

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A Grandpa and Granddaughter

After Wednesday night prayer last night, my favorite part was holding my granddaughter Geneva Bradrick…

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A “Woman’s Choice” Is Declared Murder in NC as of Today

The Unborn Victims of Violence Act was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in April. Today, December 1, 2011, it becomes law. The NC General Assembly has written a law stating that any person who unlawfully causes the death of an unborn child is guilty of murder of that unborn child. “Unborn child” is defined in the law as a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb. This law in effect recognizes that humans are human at conception and not at any other arbitrarily selected stage of development in utero. The law specifically excludes from prosecution acts still considered to be lawfully committed under the abortion statutes of North Carolina. This law has shattered the conflicted justification for lawful abortion used by so many of its advocates. The notion that a baby in the womb is not a person or not human has been written out of the pages of the law and “a woman’s choice” to abort her unborn baby has just been codified into law as murder if caused by anyone other than a doctor at her own direction. You can read the entire law here.

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Working on Adoption Today

While working on my presentation of the doctrine of adoption for next week’s Sound Doctrine Conference, I ran across this on adoption:

Extol and magnify God’s mercy, who has adopted you into his family; who, of slaves, has made you sons; of heirs of hell, heirs of the promise. Adoption is a free gift. He gave them power, or dignity, to become the sons of God. As a thread of silver runs through a whole piece of work, so free grace runs through the whole privilege of adoption. Adoption is greater mercy than Adam had in paradise; he was a son by creation, but here is a further sonship by adoption. To make us thankful, consider, in civil adoption there is some worth and excellence in the person to be adopted; but there was no worth in us, neither beauty, nor parentage, nor virtue; nothing in us to move God to bestow the prerogative of sonship upon us. We have enough in us to move God to correct us, but nothing to move him to adopt us, therefore exalt free grace; begin the work of angels here; bless him with your praises who has blessed you in making you his sons and daughters.—Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity, p. 240

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How Singing Can Be an Offense to God

Ezekiel the prophet laments the often repeated condition in the church of singing lovely songs and playing well on instruments. However, they can be an abomination. This condition is repeated in modern churches where the songs are appealing and moving to the emotions, but the people remain worldly.

So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them (Ezek. 33:31-32).

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A Response to a Failed Courtship

My friend Charles Churchill has manufactured this very humorous poem: “A Response to a Failed Courtship.” It is a funny satire about a hypothetical young man.

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Mayflower Reenactment – John Howland Falls Overboard

We reenacted the pilgrim departure on the Speedwell and the Mayflower using trailers. We boarded the Speedwell and the Mayflower, and quickly the Speedwell started to leak. So we returned to port, and most of us got in the Mayflower, but then a great storm swept John Howland (played by Peter Bradrick) off the deck and into the deep blue sea. But according the kind providence of God, he grabbed the ship’s rope that was being dragged behind the boat and he was saved…

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I Had These Indians and Pilgrims For Thanksgiving

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