How to Get Rid of the Problem of ‘Self’

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“Here is a superb bit of psychology, for what after all, is the main cause of this spirit of fear? The answer is ‘self’ – self-love, self-concern, self-protection. Had you realized that the essence of this trouble is that these fearful people are really too absorbed in self – how can I do this, what if I fail? ‘I’ – they are constantly turning in upon themselves, looking at themselves and concerned about themselves.  And it is just here that the spirit of love comes in, for there is only one way to get rid of yourself. There is only one cure for self. You will never deal with self yourself. That was the fatal fallacy of those poor men who became monks and anchorites. They could get away from the world and from other people, but they could not get away from themselves. Your self is inside you and you cannot get rid of him, the more you mortify yourself the more your self will torment you.

What Happens after Death (and before Resurrection)

Dr. Kim Riddlebarger

This post is adapted from Kim Riddlebarger’s chapter, “Eschatology,” in Reformation Theology: A Systematic Summary edited by Matthew Barrett.

“On the Sleep of the Soul”

John Calvin’s first published work of theology was the Psychopannychia (“On the Sleep of the Soul”), published in 1542, although the first draft of the manuscript was written as early as 1534, and Calvin revised it several times before publication.1

Ironically, even as Calvin took issue with those Anabaptists who held that the soul is deprived of consciousness after death, this view was quite similar to Luther’s “soul sleep.” Calvin never mentioned Luther’s view, and both Martin Bucer and Wolfgang Capito (1478–1541) urged Calvin not to publish the Psychopannychia so as to avoid exposing any differences between the Reformed and Lutherans and thus keep Roman or Anabaptist critics from pouncing.2

The Christian’s Reasonable Service (Indexed)

by Wilhelmus a Brakel

With a decidedly Puritan flavor and representing  Reformed experiential religion at its best, Wilhelmus à Brakel systematically moves through the major doctrines of the Bible in hopes of seeing the minds of God’s people renewed for the purpose of promoting godliness. Throughout his work, but particularly in the practical application of each doctrine, à Brakel strives unceasingly to exalt the name of Jesus as the name that the Father has given above every other name—there being no other name given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). The following files are in pdf format.

The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 1 (indexed)
The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 2 (indexed)
The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 3 (indexed)
The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 4 (indexed)

Evolution is a Channel, not a Canal

Steve Hays has an impromptu debate with an atheist on Facebook:

No True Evangelism Without It

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

There is no true evangelism without the doctrine of sin, and without an understanding of what sin is. I do not want to be unfair, but I say that a gospel which merely says ‘Come to Jesus,’ and offers Him as a Friend, and offers a marvelous, new life, without convicting of sin, is not New Testament evangelism. The essence of evangelism is to start by preaching the law; and it is because the law has not been preached that we have had so much superficial evangelism. Go through the ministry of our Lord Himself and you cannot but get the impression that at times, far from pressing people to follow Him and to decide for Him, He put great obstacles in their way. He said in effect: ‘Do you realize what you are doing? Have you counted the cost? Do you realize where it may lead you? Do you know that it means denying yourself, taking up your cross daily and following Me?’ True evangelism, I say, because of this doctrine of sin, must always start by preaching the law. This means that we must explain that mankind is confronted by the holiness of God, by His demands, and also by the consequences of sin. It is the Son of God Himself who speaks about being cast into hell. If you do not like the doctrine of hell you are just disagreeing with Jesus Christ. He, the Son of God, believed in hell; and it is in His exposure of the true nature of sin that He teaches that sin ultimately lands men in hell. So evangelism must start with the holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, the demands of the law, the punishment meted out by the law and the eternal consequences of evil and wrongdoing. It is only the man who is brought to see his guilt in this way who flies to Christ for deliverance and redemption.

Salvation Belongs to the Lord!

by C. H. Spurgeon

Edited by Alistair Begg

Salvation belongs to the Lord! – Jonah 2:9

Salvation is the work of God. It is He alone who quickens the soul “dead in…trespasses and sins,”1 and He it is who maintains the soul in its spiritual life. He is both “Alpha and Omega.”

“Salvation belongs to the LORD!” If I am prayerful, God makes me prayerful; if I have graces, they are God’s gifts to me; if I hold on in a consistent life, it is because He upholds me with His hand. I do nothing whatever toward my own preservation, except what God Himself first does in me. Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone. Whenever I sin, that is my own doing; but when I act correctly, that is wholly and completely of God. If I have resisted a spiritual enemy, the Lord’s strength nerved my arm.

Do I live before men a consecrated life? It is not I, but Christ who lives in me. Am I sanctified? I did not cleanse myself: God’s Holy Spirit sanctifies me. Am I separated from the world? I am separated by God’s chastisements sanctified to my good. Do I grow in knowledge? The great Instructor teaches me. All my jewels were fashioned by heavenly art. I find in God all that I want; but I find in myself nothing but sin and misery. “He only is my rock and my salvation.”2

The Calling of God

by C. H. Spurgeon

“Whom he did predestinate, them he also called.” — Romans 8:30

For those Christians who are concerned that their sin has disqualified them for heaven.

by John HendryxYou said you trust in Jesus yet you claim YOUR sin has disqualified you. Consider … this means you are not trusting in Christ alone but, at least partly, in your own ability to maintain a just standing before God. Still trusting in you…

That the Law is Designed to Lead to Christ by Giving Knowledge of Sin

by Martin LutherAnd here is the solution of the question which the Diatribe repeats so often all through the book: ‘if we can do nothing, what is the purpose of all the laws, precepts, threats and promises?’ Paul here gives the answer: ‘by the law is t…

If the Doctrine of Election is True, Why Preach the Gospel?

Visitor: if election is true, why preach the gospel?

Response: why preach the gospel? because “election” saves nobody by itself. Salvation is by Christ. Election is merely a blueprint of what God intends to do in history through Christ. The Father elects, the Son redeems and the Spirit quickens and unites the sinner to Christ through the gospel.

The gospel is like a seed. We cast the seed indiscriminately, as God commands, and it goes into the heart of man… but unless the Holy Spirit germinate the seed, so to speak, it falls on fallow ground. ‘No one says ‘Jesus is Lord’ apart from the Holy Spirit.” (1 Cor 12:3)

Jesus declared, “all that the Father give to me will come to me” John 6:37

Notice, Jesus says the Father giving them to the Son precedes their coming to faith in him… in addition Jesus says all, not some, but all that the Father gives to Jesus come to faith in him.

The main difference in understanding the bible is between monergism and synergism. .. does Jesus provide everything we need for salvation, including a new heart to believe (Deut 30:6; Ezek 36:26; John 6:63), or does Jesus only provide some of what we need? Does Jesus rescue us or help us rescue ourselves?

The issue is all about whether we are saved by Christ alone or not .. and the answer is in Scripture, the Christians’ sole authority.

God has made us the means and instruments by which God disseminate the live-giving gospel. We are not called to discover who the elect are or to be concerned with the ultimate results, but to faithfully go about sowing the seed of the gospel. He will take care of produce the crop.  The Apostle Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” (1 Cor 3:6-7)