Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Success in Ministry?

"The fact that contempt was Jesus the Lord's experience should teach disciples that success, as the world (and much religion) counts success, should be no criterion whatsoever for discipleship.  Success in the Christian sense is the ability to be like Jesus."

-- F.D. Bruner, commentary on Matt. 10:24-25

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Luther on 'the finest' of good works

"When people suffer bodily affliction or lose their property, reputation, friends, or anything else, do they believe they are still pleasing to God and, whether their suffering and vexation be great or small, that God is mercifully disposed toward them? In that situation, when all our senses and understanding tell us that God is angry, it is an art to trust God and to regard oneself as better cared for than it appears. . . .
"The afflictions that are endured in faith are likewise superior to any and all works done in faith, and suffering produces immeasurably greater benefits than such works can ever provide. Stronger still is the highest degree of faith, which is required when God torments the conscience not only with earthly afflictions but with death, hell, and sin while withholding divine grace and mercy, as if God would condemn and stay angry forever. Few people experience this, as David laments in the sixth Psalm . . . .
"At this point, to trust that God is gracious is the finest work of which any creature is capable."
~ Martin Luther, Treatise on Good Works

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Five Fundamentals of Genuine Faith in God

South Church -- Sunday morning sermon 7/9/17
Pastor Doug Phillips


1.  True Faith believes in the true and living God -- God as he actually is (as He has revealed Himself in His Word). – Ex. 20:1-6; Jn. 1:1-4, 14,18; 17:3; Heb. 1:3; 2:1-3; 11:6; 1 Jn. 5:21

2.  True Faith believes that God is, indeed, ‘the Supreme Being’ – and should be supremely feared, trusted, loved and obeyed.  -- Ps. 29;  95:3; Isa. 40:25ff.; Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 12:28-29

3.  True Faith believes what the Word of God, centered in the Gospel, teaches about how we come to be right with God (in salvation).  – Heb. 2:1-3; Eph. 2:8-9; Heb. 10:19-23

4.  True Faith believes that God can only be rightly trusted, loved, obeyed and served in accordance with His infallible, inscripturated Word. – John 8:31-36; 1 Tim. 3:14-15; 2 Tim. 3:16-Acts 2:42; 17; Heb. 3:7-8; 4:11-13

5.  True Faith believes what the Word of God teaches about God’s sovereign plan and providential  purpose for the world, the Church, and the individual believer. – Eph. 1:3-10; Rom. 8:18-39; Heb. 11:10-16, 39-40; 12:25-27; Rev. 21:1-8
Recommended reading:  "Knowing God" by J.I. Packer