You’re a normal sinner 

No one is a special class of sinner. We are all sinners in the same general way. This means that none of us should expect or need angelic visions or visits to help us put off our pet sins. Instead we should expect our general sin to be eradicated by the general means Christ gave us to take care of it, those being attending to the preaching and reading of Scripture, prayer, Lord’s Supper and Baptism. These are the simple prescribed means to build a heart and life for God, but like Namaan in 2 Kings 5, we are somewhat offended that 1) it should be so easy, 2) it is not accompanied by a face to face acknowledgement of our greatness 3) there was no payment allowed. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Apply the Word

Scripture regularly admonishes us to be not only hearers, but doers of the Word (James 1:22), just as some, maybe few sermons admonish us with notions of application, or how to work out in our lives a piece of what we just heard. Application in sermons is a dying art, yet its something crucial to the Christian walk. Many Christians are well aware of being delivered from sin, justice and wrath, but know little about how the rest of life is to now work. In the absence of true application the culture is ready to fill the gap with its practices and reasonings. Most sermon application seems like moral/ethical standards or doctrines to just be understood. Denominations push these extremes but rarely provide a healthy balance or more. 

Application should be like going to the store and actually buying something that you take home and make yours, as the possession of the product adds to your life. This illustrates the three levels of learning (I’ll call them facts, others and experience). In facts, you learn the details and doctrines of God. In others, you see how people work out those facts in their life. Then in experience, you take both of the above and incorporate them into YOUR life. You have in effect not just read about a product, window shopped, or merely watched an infomercial, but you see such a need for it that you invest in it and take it home with you. Now all three elements are key, because left to themselves or only two of the three, will create problems. For example to just learn facts and doctrine, without any change in heart or life may just make you an Athenian, just liking to know and hear some new thing. 

My application in this post is for you to focus on the next sermon you hear, and whether an application is given or not, ask yourself what will you take home from the sermon that you will seek to incorporate into your life, and make yours, and thus be a doer of what you hear. 

Leave a comment

Filed under New Testament, Old Testament

How to maintain your love for God: when sufferings for religion are placed upon you

Summary points from “Keeping the Heart” by John Flavel.

1. What reproach would you cast upon the Redeemer and his religion by deserting him at such a time as this. 

2. Dare you violate your conscience out of complaisance to flesh and blood. 

3. Isn’t the cause of Christ infinitely more important than any interest of my own, that I should prefer his kingdom 

4. Did the Redeemer th ink lightly of your interests when for your sake he endured  suffering 

5. Can you so easily cast off heaven to join Satan 

6. How do you hope to stand on the day of judgement if you desert him now. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How to maintain your love for God: when in spiritual darkness and doubting: 

Summary points from “Keeping the Heart” by John Flavel.
1. The appearance of hypocrisy does not prove the person who manifests it to be a hypocrite 

2. Consider what might be well said of you, not just the evil

3. The unstable grounds of your peace is not the sure as stable ground of our religion 

4. The soul is not at all times suitable to pass a right judgement upon itself

5. Whatever the distress it should drive us to Christ not away from

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How to maintain your love for God: in the hour of temptation: 

Summary points from “Keeping the Heart” by John Flavel.
1. Repell the proposal of pleasure that in the end you know is poison 

2. Consider well that there is no secrecy of sin from God.

3. Guard against worldly advantages that subvert your trust of God 

4. Consider well that there is no sin so little by which to even entertain the excuse to give in

5. Do not reason that God will pardon anyway

6. Do not sin according to holy men, assuming the same reconciliation 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How to maintain your love for God: when facing great trials

Summary points from “Keeping the Heart” by John Flavel
1. Get humble and abasing thoughts of yourself 

2. Cultivate a habit of communion with God

3. Let you mind be deeply impressed with an apprehension of the evil nature and effects of an unsubmissive and restless temper

4. Consider how desirable it is for a Christian to overcome his evil propensities 

5. Shame yourself, by considering the character of those who have been most eminent for meekness and submission 

6. Avoid every thing which is calculated to irritate your feelings

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How to maintain your love for God: when abused and injured by others: 

Summary points from “Keeping the Heart” by John Flavel
1. Consider the strong prohibitions of revenge contained in scripture 

2. Set before your eyes the most eminent patterns of meekness and forgiveness, that you may feel the force of their example 

3. Consider the character of the person that wronged you

4. If a wicked man, he is to be pitied 

5. Revenge only satisfies a sinful itch, forgiveness conquers and removes it

6. Seriously ask, “Have I got any good by means of the wrongs and injuries which I have received?”

7. Consider by whom all your troubles are ordered (God) 

8. Consider how daily and hourly we wrong, abuse and injure God

9. Let the consideration of the day of the Lord and its drawing nigh, restrain you from acts of revenge 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized