Thursday, 13 December 2012

Charles Spurgeon

This past week I've been listening to many of Phil Johnson's sermons, and my absolute favorites (thus far anyway) are his talks about Charles Spurgeon. I would have loved to have met Pastor Spurgeon and attended his meetings! What a sweet man Spurgeon was... his enemies broke his heart which is why he died so young, at only 58 years (!) of age. I'm posting the links, mostly for myself to be able to enjoy them again and again, but also for anyone else to hear about God's greatest preacher (in my opinion, and in the opinion of many others too). I thought all of the sermons on this site were accompanied with transcripts, but unfortunately there aren't any for the ones listed below...however, the second one, "The Conversion of Charles Spurgeon", does has a transcript link to click onto which provides the photos which Pastor Johnson showed in a slide presentation while giving this sermon so it adds to being able to follow along and have the full experience of the teaching.

And this link has more sermons about Charles Spurgeon which I have yet to look forward to listening to.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

A Thorn in the Flesh

   Phil Johnson   talks here about how God's power and strength is perfected in our weakness. I love this site because you can listen to the sermon (by clicking link at the top of the page) and follow along in the written transcript.

The mention of the thorn in the flesh is from 2 Corinthians 12:7. This sermon covers 2 Corinthians 12: 1-12.


"Now: If you're paying attention and following my outline, you might want to stop me right there. Because we're on point 2 of a three-point outline, and we're supposed to be talking about the second of three gracious gifts God gave to Paul. First was paradise. That makes sense. The second, we said, was pain. And this thorn, whatever it was, is the source of Paul's pain. So was Paul's pain a provocation from Satan, or was it a gracious gift from God?
     What's the correct answer to that question?
     Satan meant it for evil; God meant it for good. And here is a little secret: that is true of every vexing problem the powers of darkness ever cause for you."


Pastor Johnson goes into the exact meaning of the word "thorn", as well as the hints in that passage that seem to say that the thorn in his flesh involved persons, false teachers (whom he calls "super apostles" ESV or eminent apostles in NASB, which he says Paul here uses in a sarcastic way to underline their abuse to the people with false teachings) which Paul brings up in chapter 11 of 2 Corinthians, and then directs it back to them in verse 11 of chapter 12.

Pastor Johnson does say that whatever the thorn is, whether it is persons, or a physical affliction, or whatever it is, because Paul describes it as a "messenger of Satan" he is saying this is some kind of spiritual attack.... and that the Lord won't remove it because...well, I'll let him tell you as it is given in the text. It is a blessing that Jesus shares with us a little of the suffering that He had to suffer. We only get a small taste of it. He bore the full effect of the suffering, the onslaught of Satan, on our behalf. How often I gripe about the little bit of suffering I have compared with what He suffered completely and unjustly on my behalf. "Oh what a foretaste of heaven divine."

Monday, 3 December 2012

The Necessary Ingredient

The past few days I've been cooking up a storm. Listening to a sermon given by Phil Johnson this morning on justification through faith, it suddenly dawned on is like "that" ingredient that makes the recipe. You cannot make roasted turkey without the turkey. There was an episode on "Everybody Loves Raymond" that brings this illustration to my mind. Doris (Raymond's mom) decided she would make a healthy Thanksgiving supper using tofu instead of turkey. She even shaped it to look like a turkey and made it look golden brown on the outside.

 Raymond saved the day by ordering a real roasted turkey, and Doris had to admit that her tofu-"turkey" was a miserable failure.


God gives us faith. Without faith it is impossible to be saved. Just like you can't have roasted turkey without the turkey, you cannot have salvation, no matter how much work you do to try to buy it or manipulate your way there, without the gift of God's faith. You might have something that you can make look like it. I've done some amazing things with tofu cutlets....but it was never turkey, and no matter how hard I tried to make it into turkey, it just wasn't. It might be something that looks similar, and it might even taste good, but it just isn't the same thing. So it is with a relationship to God. If that relationship is based on my works, my ability, my ANYTHING, it falls short of the glory of God and is unacceptable. It has to be me stepping out of the way and admitting my horrible condition, my depravity, my works earning hellfire, and that ability is from the Lord revealing this truth to me through the gift of His substitutionary life. The "not so secret ingredient" is provided by God to us for a true relationship with Him. 

If it isn't His life substituted for my sin I have no salvation, just like I couldn't have roasted turkey without the turkey.

You can hear Phil Johnson's sermon here at Sermon Audio.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

God's Love....

 ... envieth not; ... vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up (1 Corinthians 13:4 KJV)

The ESV puts it this way: does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 

I see these things warring against my members!

 Romans 7:23  but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 


 John 15:12  "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 15:13  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Just a few verses that the Lord was reminding me of this morning. :)