Found it on the Web 18.09.12

I’ve wondered for a while if I’m allowed to do this. Tim Challies has an A La Carte post he does where he amalgamates interesting things from the web into a post, by providing links and a little blurb. These cover theology and beyond. I wasn’t sure if I should do this because often the things I’d want to post are just things he’s posted already. (Spell “redundant” for me please.) However, I’ve started to read a bit more far and wide, so I think it’s about time to give this a try, if only for the sake of organizing all these extra ideas I’m putting into my head.

On the gospel, expressed in the idea of 3, 2, and 1. Clearly expressed and the most logical I have heard thus far, perhaps because this way of presenting it is novel to me and not full of over-used phrases.
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/48734715]

On our responses to times in our life when we thought we were walking with and following God’s will on the road to blessing, but end up in a mess. How should we perceive these events?
http://www.ccef.org/blog/when-god-pulls-rug-out

On the wrong way to be faithful – the notion of “I must try harder” which is hopelessly oriented towards self-achievement.
http://www.ccef.org/blog/what-christians-really-believe-i-must-try-harder

On the criteria for baptism of children. A well-reasoned discussion that gives good points to extrapolate to understanding what conditions should be met for an adult baptism.
http://www.challies.com/articles/when-should-my-children-be-baptized

On solid advice for youth ministry.
http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2012/08/10/some-advice-for-youth-ministers/

On the right way to “wait” for those who are single. “I Don’t Wait Anymore” also inspired another post.
http://gracefortheroad.com/2012/02/03/idontwait/
http://www.boundlessline.org/2012/09/what-are-you-waiting-for.html

On observing the responses to the anti-Islam video from the Muslim world. Consider the premise of Islam as a religion compared to Christianity: the effects of valuing honour versus valuing humility.
http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/the-mocking-of-muhammad-and-condemning-of-christ

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On 20 things that are useful to know for those in their 20s.
http://theburiedlife.tumblr.com/post/24011465597/20-things-i-should-have-known-at-20

On the magic of photography and the lapse of time, juxtaposed.
http://dearphotograph.com/

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‘Fallen believers’ or ‘never believers’?

This long section quoted from John MacArthur’s book, Slave, brought to mind the uneasy question about why there are believers who ‘walk away’ from following Christ if we are sealed with the Holy Spirit and saved for good once and for all after our profession that Jesus is Lord. Is what MacArthur says here relevant to the question? In a few words, he seems to be saying that people may not be as good as their word (of profession), and that they may talk the talk but not walk the walk. It’s true: if one is soaked in Christian community, it is not too hard to assimilate the lingo yet resist the repentance and lack the regeneration and reform. A section from pages 90-92 is quoted below:

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As slaves to righteousness, believers are “under obligation” (Rom. 8:12; cf. 6:18) to honour God in how they live. Yet, for those who belong to Christ, the motivation to obey is far more profound than mere duty. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments,” Jesus told His disciples (John 14:15, emphasis added); and again, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word” (v.23). The apostle John echoed Christ’s words in his epistles: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3); and elsewhere, “This is love, that we walk according to His commandments” (2 John 6). Genuine believers are characterized by a deep love for Christ, and that love inevitably manifests itself in obedience. [1] By contrast, those who do not love the Lord, either in what they say or by how they live, evidence the fact that they do not belong to Him. [2]

The only right response to Christ’s lordship is wholehearted submission, loving obedience, and passionate worship. Those who give verbal assent to His deity, yet live in patterns of unrepentant disobedience, betray the hypocrisy of their profession. To them, the terrifying weight of Christ’s question, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46) directly applies. As He warned the crowds at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, after describing they dangers of hypocrisy:

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matt. 7:21-23).

Clearly, not all who claim to know the Lord actually do. Those who truly “belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24). Rather than walking in the flesh, they now “walk by the Spirit” (v. 25), being characterized by a growing desire to obey the Word of God. As Jesus told the crowds in John 8:31, ‘If you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine.” [3] After all, “each tree is known by its own fruit” (Luke 6:44); and genuine conversion is always marked by the fruit of repentance and the fruit of the Spirit. [4] Loving obedience is the defining evidence of salvation, such that the two are inseparably linked; as the author of Hebrews explains: “He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation” (5:9). [5]

Notes:

1) 1 Cor. 8:3; Eph. 6:24; 1 Peter 1:8; cf. Mark 12:30; John 21:15-17; 1 John 2:3

2) 1 Cor. 16:22; cf. John 8:42; Rom. 8:9

3) Cf. John 6:66-69; Matt 24:13; Col. 1:22-23; 1 Tim. 4:16; Heb. 3:14; 10:38-39; 1 John 2:19

4) Luke 3:8; Gal. 5:22-23

5) Cf. John 3:36; Rom. 1:5; 6:16; 15:18; 16:19, 26; 1 Peter 1:2, 22

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Thoughts on Exodus

Here are some mental links:

Passover — ‘ready to travel’ — just the sandals on your feet — ‘strangers in the world’ — eat all of the lamb or burn it don’t pack it for later — yeastless dough — Pharisees are yeast

God sometimes leads the indirect but better route (13:17) — Paul’s journeys — salvation not mechanization

Crossing the Read Sea is like:

a) moving to a new stage of life
b) starting at a new school/job
c) doing something you’ve never done before
d) asking God for something you believe he wants you to ask, but not getting it
e) being pushed to drastic situations by uncontrollable circumstances
f) diving
g) any other example you can come up with

Dead Sea (not Red Sea, but geographically close)

As you face the waters...

At the Red Sea… [insert trouble here]

As [Pharoah] approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were [the Egyptians] marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were [no graves in Egypt] that you brought us to [the desert to die]? What have you done to us by bringing us out of [Egypt]? Didn’t we say to you in [Egypt], ‘Leave us alone; let us [serve the Egyptians]’? It would have been better for us to [serve the Egyptians] than to [die in the desert]!”

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The [Egyptians] you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” — Exodus 14:10-14

When you begin to panic, do not be afraid. This comes up a lot in the Bible. My conclusion (from reading this and personal experience) is that we are ‘afraid’ a lot; most often we’re not scared-afraid so much as worried/bitter/discontent-afraid.