Tuesday, August 28, 2007

John Piper Admits - He was wrong and puts forth what our church desperately needs

"Is there an essence of Baptism with the Holy Spirit, the heart of, this is it and sometimes its all the other things (Acts 2), But this is always the Baptism of the Holy Spirit… that is the question I want to answer right now. And, to answer it I want to begin by saying what I don’t think the essence is… Here I’m going to distance myself from a view that I have argued for in 1984 and one that has great and wonderful historic tradition behind it. But which I have become increasingly persuaded as not accurate, at least the way the way I was arguing for. I don not think that baptism with the Holy Spirit refers to new birth, conversion to Christ, being united by the Spirit to the body of Christ. In other words Luke or Acts 2 is not talking about what Paul is talking about in 1 Corinthians 12:13. The view that I’m turning from is perfectly orthodox. And, if you hold it when I’m done you’re welcome at Bethlehem and welcome into my heart and loved and have a great historic tradition behind you namely that the Baptism with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 and 1 Corinthians 12:13 are one and the same thing. And, nobody is going to boot you out of this church for holding that view otherwise I would have been gone six years ago. But, not to make light of the disagreement, I have prayed and struggled, and labored, and sought, and studied, and wept, and talked, and I believe that I was wrong, and that view is wrong, and that the view I’m going to give you this morning is right and desperately needed in the church. So, the question is what’s the heart of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit?... …I think the essence and the heart of the baptism with the Holy Spirit when a person who is already a believer receives from the Holy Spirit extraordinary spiritual power for Christ exalting ministry…" Preached in front of a congregation of 400. September 23, 1990 So, something happened to Piper between 1986 and 1990 Listen to the sermon here. Read it here - You will be Baptized with the Holy Spirit Taken from www.desiringgod.org A book to understand this more fully would be "Joy Unspeakable - Martyn Lloyd Jones"

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Arm Falls Off

Read this first, Idolatry Walk the Other way

...Because of what bitterness does – causing us to fall short of the grace of God – we should consider it a bit further.

When you have been wronged, you have been wounded. When the wound hurts or throbs, that is not bitterness. But wounds need to be cleaned and dressed, and the bandages need to be changed regularly. If this does not happen, then the wound gets infected. Bitterness is that infection.

If the wound is kept clear of infection, then the wound heals, Perhaps there is a scar, and a story, but the wound really does heal. But if the wound is not kept clear of infection, then it stays tender, stays swollen, stays infected, and one day your arm falls off.

Now when your arm falls off, and someone asks what happened, it will not do to say, "Well, my third grade teacher humiliated me in front of the class," or "When I was in high school, the director’s daughter was chosen for the lead in the play instead of me," or even "My husband deserted me." Those are all the reasons for the wound. They are not really the reason your arm fell off.

Why were the bandages never changed? Why did you not take the antibiotics that were prescribed for you? Why would you not agree to let the nurse clean and dress the wound? The reason is that such a healthy response would temporarily hurt more than sitting in the dark, miserable, picking at it.

Of course, if they had not wronged you to begin with, none of this would have happened. And if they really sinned, God will hold them to account for their sin. You don’t need to worry about that. But just as He told them not to wrong you, so He told you to refrain from bitterness and resentment. Now when God identifies something as sin, should we repent of it, and walk away from it? Or do you agree with the one who wronged about that as well?

(Posted from here) By: Douglas Wilson

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Idolatry - Walk the other way

Resentment is one of the most confused and confusing sins that we commit.

Another person has wronged you and hurt you, or you believe that he has, and so you store up bitterness in your heart. But this bitterness pollutes and eats away at your own soul, not the soul of the one who wronged you.

What this means is that someone came into your home and smashed your precious things. And let us say that you are not imagining it—he really did this. And so what does bitterness do? Bitterness goes to the workroom in the basement, finds a hammer, and goes through the house, smashing any of the remaining precious things that the other may have missed. At the basic heart level, this means that bitterness agrees with the vandal. For all the appearance of conflict, it is a false conflict.

Aggressive belligerence says that you should be hurt. And bitterness responds by saying, "No, I need to be hurt and damaged more than that. Leave me now—I can do the rest by myself."

The author of Hebrews says not to let the root of bitterness spring up, defiling many. And when this happens, the people involved fall short of the grace of God (Heb. 12:15). But we must remember that the Old Testament associates the bitter root with the sin of idolatry. When we are resentful, more is involved than just a "cranked attitude." We are no longer worshipping the loving Father who controls all things perfectly, including this situation, for His glory and our good. And this means that, in our bitterness, we are trying to appease an idol, a deity who cannot deliver us.

It works the other way too. When we turn aside to false gods, whether they are the gods of sex, money, ambition, the end of that road is bitter, bitter destruction. This is a two-way street. Bitterness leads straight into idolatry, and idolatry leads straight into bitterness.

If you are anywhere on that road, if you are bitter, if you are idolatrously chasing other baubles, there is only one thing to do. Turn around and walk the other way.

-Douglas Wilson

Posted from here.