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5 Minutes in Church History: Philip Melanchthon

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By Stephen Nichols

"Philip Melanchthon is, after Martin Luther, likely the most prominent resident of Wittenberg, Germany. “Master Philip,” as Luther called him, was born on February 15, 1497. He came of age educationally just after Martin Luther did, but in many ways, Melanchthon’s education was very different from Luther’s. Luther was raised in medieval methodology, whereas Melanchthon’s early education was steeped in the new humanism. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Heidelberg and his M.A. from the University of Tübingen." Stephen Nichols


Audio Link: https://soundcloud.com/5churchhistory/philip-melanchthon

God's Power Made Perfect in Weakness

By Pastor Geoff Ingrum - Posted at Sermon Audio:


Series: Judges · 9 of 26



Description:

God uses unlikely people with unusual weapons to accomplish unimpressive victories that demonstrate His extraordinary power and exceptional salvation.

Scripture Text: Judges 3:31

31 And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.

Link: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=91116130382

Our Life is Hid with Christ

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Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History:

Excerpt from Vol. 5 of the Works of Richard Sibbes:

We are dead, and yet we have a life. A Christian is a strange person. He is both dead and alive, he is miserable and glorious. He consists of contraries. He is dead in regard of corruption and miseries, and such like, but he is alive in regard of his better part, and he grows two ways at once. It is a strange thing that a Christian does. He grows downwards and upwards at the same time; for as he dies in sin and misery, and natural death approaching, so he lives the life of grace, and grows more and more till he end in glory.

This life is said to be a hidden life, ‘It is hid with Christ in God.’

The life of a Christian, which is his glorious spiritual life, it is hid. Among other respects,

1. It is hid to the world, to worldly men, because a Christian is an unknown man to them. Because they know not the Father that begets, therefore they know not them that are begotten, as St. John says in 1…

On Being “Called” to Ministry

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Posted at 9Marks.org:

Being “called” to ministry isn’t entirely personal, internal, and subjective. It involves both the individual and a church, an internal desire and external confirmation.

In this Pastors’ Talk episode, Jonathan [Leeman] asked Mark [Dever] about common misconceptions of pastoral calling, how pastors can cultivate an environment where callings get tested, and the role of the church throughout.

(Download on iTunes here.)

Read more at 9Marks and listen here.

(Audio: approx. 26 minutes)

Less A Problem of What the Spirit is Doing and More a Problem of What We Say

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By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog:

Since the early 19th century American Christianity has been largely dominated by a revival of the original Anabaptist theology, piety, and practice. One can transpose much of what took place in the 19th century over the fist generation Anabaptists (1520s) and it matches up quite well. The original Anabaptists would have understood completely the Millerite eschatological fervor of the 1820s–40s. They would understand completely the claims of continuing revelation made by Joseph Smith and the Mormons in the same period. At least some of the original Anabaptists would have understood the bald Pelagianism of Charles Finney (1792–1875). The Cane Ridge Revival (1801) would have made perfect sense to the original Anabaptists as it fit their vision of piety almost perfectly.

Evangelical Christianity in America as it has been received in the 20th and 21st centuries is very much the product of that revived Anabaptist theology, piety, and practic…

The Sufficiency of Scripture

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By John MacArthur - Posted at Grace Community Church:

It is significant that one of the biblical names of Christ is Wonderful Counselor (Isa. 9:6). He is the highest and ultimate One to whom we may turn for counsel, and His Word is the well from which we may draw divine wisdom. What could be more wonderful than that? In fact, one of the most glorious aspects of Christ’s perfect sufficiency is the wonderful counsel and great wisdom He supplies in our times of despair, confusion, fear, anxiety, and sorrow. He is the quintessential Counselor.

This is not to denigrate the importance of Christians counseling each other. There certainly is a crucial need for biblically sound counseling ministries within the Church, and this need is met by those who are spiritually gifted to offer encouragement, discernment, comfort, advice, compassion, and help to others. In fact, one of the very problems that has led to the current plague of bad counsel is that churches have not done as well as they could …

Justice, Mercy, and Grace

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By T.M. Moore - Posted at The Fellowship of Ailbe:

We need them all, and they're all there for us in Jesus.

“Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.”
- Matthew 5.7  If only you shape your own path and build up peace, you shall see no end to mercy.
- The Advice of Addaon, Early Welsh
Justice, mercy, grace: three words we use a good deal in the Christian community, each of which has a distinct meaning and impact.

Yet none of which do we understand as well as we should.

Justice can be summarized as getting what you deserve. On the one hand, because we are the image-bearers of God, all humans deserve respect, honor, love, encouragement, and so forth. On the other hand, because we are sinners, we deserve only wrath and judgment from our sovereign and holy God. These are the proper desserts of those who walk in rebellion against Him, denying that He is their Creator, ignoring His Law, or rationalizing it out of their Christian lives.

Justice is what we deserve, and, for both …

The Maryland Toleration Law

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Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History:


Maryland Toleration Law Opens up Colony for Reformed Preaching

April 21 was an important date in 1649 for the Reformed faith in the colony of Maryland. Originally, Maryland was a colony established as a refuge for English Catholics. But as more non-Catholics came into the colony, and indeed it became a Protestant colony, the Maryland Assembly on this date established the Maryland Toleration Law, or as it is sometimes known as The Act Concerning Religion.

What it did was to mandate religious tolerance for trinitarian Christians. That adjective “trinitarian” is important. If a citizen of the colony denied the deity of Jesus Christ, for example, then the punishment was seizure of their land, and even death. Thus Unitarians, or Jews, or atheists were threatened by this law. It was meant more so as a protection for the Roman Catholics as it was for the Protestants, and specifically the Reformed faith.

Read more here.

Waiting and Longing to Hear God’s Word

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Posted at Reformation Scotland:

We’re so used to hearing sermons that it becomes ordinary and routine for us. Yet it is meant to be a life-changing and world-changing activity. Christ has sent someone to declare His Word to us in a special way. No words outside of Scripture are more significant than those we hear from the pulpit. The Spirit of God makes “the reading, but especially the preaching, of the word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith, unto salvation” (Shorter Catechism, Q89). We should therefore be longing and waiting for the sermons we hear.

In what follows we will hear the heart-cry of a flock to a shepherd to come and feed them with God’s Word. This was a congregation who would experience one of Scotland’s most richly blessed ministries – ever. The parish of Fenwick, Ayrshire were calling a young man called William Guthrie. Writing a call to a pastor can seem to some like a procedural tech…

Samuel B. Wylie: The Duty of Christians Under Wicked Rule

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Posted at Purely Presbyterian:

Samuel B. Wylie, Two Sons of Oil, pp. 63-71

1. It is our duty to mourn before God over all the prevailing abominations. This is one of the characters of those who are marked with the broad seal of the Holy Ghost, Ezek, ix. 4. And the Lord said, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof.” We ought, also, to confess and mourn over our own sins, which, no doubt, contribute their share to the procuring and continuance of those evils.

2. We ought to pray for their reformation with earnestness at a throne of grace. 1st Tim. ii. 1, we are commanded to make prayer and supplications for all men; and, Jer. xxix. 7, the captives in Babylon are commanded to “pray for the peace of the city, and cry to the Lord for it, that in its peace they might have peace.” This prayer, however, ought not to recognise them in their officia…

"Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker— … Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’"

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Posted at Reformed Doctrine Daily Devotions:

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah 29:1-16.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+29&version=NASB
I quote only the following verses.

“Woe, O Ariel (Jerusalem), Ariel the city where David once camped!
Add year to year, observe your feasts on schedule.
2 I will bring distress to Ariel,
And she will be a city of lamenting and mourning;
And she will be like an Ariel to me.
3 I will camp against you encircling you,
And I will set siegeworks against you,
And I will raise up battle towers against you.
..
13 Then the Lord said,
“Because this people draw near with their words
And honor Me with their lip service,
But they remove their hearts far from Me,
And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,
14 Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous;
And the wisdom of their wise men will perish,
And the discernment of their discerning m…